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Ryuichi Kiyonari edges out Josh Brookes on the first free practice session of the new MCE British Superbike season, narrowly beating the Milwaukee Yamaha rider by 0.033s, as the new year roars into action.

The 2014 BSB runner-up was up to speed almost immediately, going P1 in the opening 20 minutes of the first session and didn't relinquish top spot to any of the chasing pack. Milwaukee Yamaha's Brookes notched up an impressive lap in the closing stages to finish second on the new YZF-R1, with Kiyonari's team-mate Lee Jackson rounding out the top three.

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Last year's Superstock 1000 champion Danny Buchan continued to impress the paddock as he grabbed fourth on the timesheets and the honour of the fastest Kawasaki. Howie Mainwaring, Stuart Easton, Luke Mossey and 2014 BSB champion Shane Byrne created a Kawasaki train between P4 and P8.

Byrne is still recovering from a hand injury sustained while pre-season testing in Spain and ended the opening session four-tenths down on his quickest time from the official test day at Donington Park last week.

Dan Linfoot was the sole Honda in the top 15 as Ellison rounded out the quickest ten riders in the first free practice session of the new BSB season.

At last week's official test day defending champion Byrne set the fastest time of the day of 1m 31.145s, but that was quickly beaten by the session's early leader Kiyonari who was first to break the 1m 31s time barrier.

Temperatures struggled to rise into double digits and the chilly morning conditions caught out Jenny Tinmouth who fell at Redgate on her outlap, forcing her to sit out the opening session. Team WD-40's Jack Kennedy also took an early tumble at the old hairpin.

Jakub Smrz took a fall at Craner Curves as the session enter the final 15 minutes, while Kiyonari held on to top spot despite Buchan and Brookes improving at the end.

PR Kawasaki's Jed Metcher is absent from the BSB season opener after visa issues, while MQ Motorsport duo Dani Rivas and David McFadden also miss out due to team financial troubles.

For 2015 only the top 30 riders will progress into qualifying, with the order being decided by the combined fastest times from the three free practice sessions.