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Shane Byrne's quest to maintain his remarkable run of wins around his home Brands Hatch circuit began in earnest as he eased to the fastest time in first free practice.

The reigning champion and current series leader has won eight of the last ten races to be held around the historic GP configuration of the Brands Hatch circuit and begins this weekend's sixth round as the clear favourite to extend his victory run.

Quickly signalling those intentions in FP1, Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki's Byrne was almost half a second faster than Alex Lowes on the Samsung Honda, the title rivals emerging from FP1 as the only riders to dip below 1min 27secs.

Currently battling his Buildbase BMW team-mate for a shot at the upcoming 'Title Showdown', James Westmoreland was an impressive third fastest, ahead of fellow shootout hopefuls James Ellison, Chris Walker and Ryuichi Kiyonari.

A mixed session for Tyco Suzuki, Josh Brookes was seventh fastest on the best of the GSX-R1000s, but team-mate PJ Jacobsen failed to set a time after suffering technical issues.

Jakub Smrz maintained his top ten form with the eighth best time, ahead of Kirkham and leading GBmoto Honda rider Dan Linfoot.


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