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Ryuichi Kiyonari has set the standard on the opening day of the first round of the 2015 MCE British Superbike despite suffering a small crash in the afternoon session.

The 2014 BSB runner-up finished top of both free practice sessions on Saturday but has defending champion Shane Byrne a fraction behind him, recommencing their battle for the title from last season. The Japanese rider finished just 0.010s ahead of the Londoner, which sets up an intriguing battle for qualifying tomorrow.

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The quickest rider of the morning once again took to the front after the early laps and held a three-tenths advantage on Byrne. Track conditions had definitely improved in the afternoon session after it took Kiyonari just eight laps to go faster than his morning time.

The three-time BSB champion went even quicker moments later with a 1m 30.106s lap before crashing out at the fast Coppice section with over a quarter of an hour of the session remaining.

Kiyonari returned to the pits to check over his Buildbase BMW S1000RR and was able to re-join the session in the final minutes. Byrne improved on his own time but was just a slightly off his rival.

James Ellison was a close third place in the session, while Billy McConnell ended the afternoon in an impressive fourth as an unwell Christian Iddon rounded out the top five.

Danny Buchan, who finished the morning session fourth fastest, was another faller at the Coppice turn which ended his afternoon running as he failed to set a lap time.

Josh Brookes was once again the fastest Yamaha rider as he finished sixth on the timesheet, followed by Stuart Easton, Howie Mainwaring, James Westmoreland and Broc Parkes in the top 10 places.