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Alex Lowes kicked off what promises to be a scorching sixth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch by pacing official testing.

Held around the Indy configuration (the race weekend will be held around the longer GP circuit), Lowes was an impressive two tenths faster than the opposition around the short circuit.

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The Samsung Honda rider, who is currently second in the BSB standings after winning last time out at Snetterton, headed up Milwaukee Yamaha's James Ellison, the Briton showing well on the circuit he scored his only victory of the season so far earlier in the year.

Fresh from testing for the upcoming Suzuki 8 Hours endurance event, the resurgent Ryuichi Kiyonari was third quickest, ahead of series leader Shane Byrne and fellow Title Showdown-elect Josh Brookes.

Fresh from his best finish of the season at Snetterton, Jakub Smrz was an encouraging sixth fastest on the Padgetts Honda, ahead of Dan Linfoot, the Buildbase BMWs of James Westmoreland and Jon Kirkham, and Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Chris Walker.

The BSB grid is down to 24 this weekend after the announcement that Tommy Bridewell has parted ways with Bathams Honda and Robbin Harms is out through injury.