Click here to see full BSB FP1 results from Brands Hatch

Josh Brookes has nipped ahead of Shane Byrne in the first free practice session for round six of the MCE British Superbike championship at Brand Hatch's GP circuit.

The Milwaukee Yamaha rider set the fastest lap of the session with 11 minutes remaining to get the better of Byrne, with the pair were separated by just 0.025s as the chequered flag fell.

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Surprise package Richard Cooper turned heads in the BSB paddock by ending the session third fastest for Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki, ahead of the likes of Tyco BMW's Michael Laverty and JG Speedfit Kawasaki's James Ellison. Jack Kennedy of Team WD-40 Kawasaki also pulled off a minor shock by taking sixth spot on the timesheet.

James Westmoreland continued to see a progressive return to form by taking seventh ahead of PBM Kawasaki's Stuart Easton and Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Luke Mossey.

Danny Buchan rounded out the top ten after pushing Tommy Bridewell down late on, while Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati stand in John Hopkins enjoyed a solid start in 12th after edging out three-time BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari.

The opening session saw Brookes and his Milwaukee Yamaha team-mate Broc Parkes set the early pace in the shakedown until PBM Kawasaki's Byrne got into his rhythm and became the first rider to go break into the 1m 26s times.

As the rest of the BSB began to get up to speed the Tyco BMW duo of Bridewell and Laverty jumped up to second and third respectively but were soon bumped down a position by Byrne's team-mate Easton to take a PBM Kawasaki 1-2.

After some adjustments in the pits the defending BSB champion set consistently quick lap times in the high 26 second margins which gave early warnings to his rivals.

Brookes, who had also spent a lengthy spell in the pits, responded by going almost half a second quicker and grab what turned out to be the fastest lap of the session.

Early surprise package Richard Cooper propelled his Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki machine into third late on but his team-mate's FP1 was cut short prematurely after falling at the Cooper straight with two minutes remaining.