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Shane Byrne has stamped his mark on early proceedings at Thruxton as he comfortably paced first free practice around the Hampshire circuit.

The British Superbike Championship leader was a clear seven tenths faster than the opposition as he got down to work around the fastest circuit on the BSB calendar, Byrne well ahead of local rider Tommy Bridewell and his Milwaukee Yamaha team-mate Josh Brookes in third place.

Starting well around the circuit where he scored his one and only BSB podium so far back in 2011, Peter Hickman was an impressive fourth best on the RAF Reserves Honda, while Richard Cooper - fresh from his maiden podium at Brands Hatch - was an encouraging fifth best.

Title challenger Ryuichi Kiyoanri was sixth quickest, ahead of Kawasaki duo Dan Linfoot and Stuart Easton, with Jakub Smrz and Michael Rutter completing the top ten.

Elsewhere, Lee Jackson continues to deputise for the injured James Westmoreland at Buildbase BMW and was a solid 13th best, while Alstare Bimota Junior's BSB debut got off to a modest start with Christophe Ponsson propping up the timesheets in 28th as both rider and the team get acquainted to the series and the circuit.