Alex Lowes maintained his run of championship-challenging form as the Samsung Honda rider completed day one at the top of the free practice times at Silverstone.

Lowes put in flying lap in the final minute of the session to take the number one position on the time sheets ahead of key rival and Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ace Shane 'Shakey' Byrne.

After sitting out the damp FP1 session this morning, Lowes quickly got up to speed with a lap of 2m 08.651s giving him an advantage of 0.251s over Byrne.

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Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes, who had the edge in on the damp Northamptonshire circuit in FP1, was third fastest, 0.261s down on Lowes' best lap.

Aussie Brookes had also led the way until he was overthrown by Byrne with ten minutes to go, with both Showdown contenders then usurped by the flying Lowes.

Milwaukee Yamaha's James Ellison eventually finished fourth quickest with a lap of 2m 09.088s as he moved ahead of Jakub Smrz on the Padgett's Honda, with Matteo Baiocco impressing on the Team Rapido Sport Ducati in sixth, 0.9s behind pacesetter Lowes.

Michael Rutter (Bathams Honda), Peter Hickman (Lloyds GBmoto Honda), Chris Walker on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki and PJ Jacobsen on the second of the Tyco Suzuki machines rounded out the top ten.

The injury-hit Ryuichi Kiyonari's replacement in the Samsung Honda colours, Freddie Foray, was 17th fastest, with Noriyuki Haga 16th in FP2 on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki.

CLICK HERE to view full FP2 times