Shane Byrne locked out the top spot on the first day of MCE British Superbike free practice for the third round of the season at Snetterton.

Quickest in FP1, Byrne furthered his advantage in the faster FP2 session by improving the benchmark to 1min 48.181secs in scorching conditions, the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider a comfortable two tenths on his nearest rival Julien Da Costa.

A fine day for the Frenchman, who is spearheading Honda Racing's return to BSB this weekend, the reigning champions choosing Snetterton as the first of a handful of events it will enter in 2014 with a view to returning full-time in 2015.

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Behind da Costa, Jakub Smrz and Josh Brookes ensured four different nationalities and manufacturers inside the top four, while Chris Walker rounded out the top five on the GBmoto Kawasaki.

James Westmoreland headed up the BMW charge in sixth place, ahead of James Ellison on the second of the GBmoto Kawasakis, while Tommy Bridewell, Patric Muff and Ryuichi Kiyonari completed the top ten.