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John Hopkins has mugged Josh Brookes from complete domination of the Friday free practice sessions at Oulton Park as the American pinches top spot with a late flyer.

The Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati rider made a late blast as the chequered flag fell on FP2, and just like Brookes had stolen top spot from Byrne in the morning session, the 2011 BSB runner-up repeated the trick on the current championship leader by just 0.054s.

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Brookes might not be too concerned after showing strong form during the longer runs while testing out a new exhaust on the Milwaukee Yamaha R1 as he looks to grab the final offering of Podium credits ahead of the Showdown.

PBM Kawasaki rider Shane Byrne showed a promising return to form by taking third in FP2 with under two-tenths separating the top three.

Be Wiser Kawasaki's Danny Buchan grabbed a creditable fourth as Christian Iddon showed promise on the Bennetts Suzuki by rounding out the top five. Luke Mossey maintained his top ten place in sixth while Michael Laverty found huge gains to jump to seventh after a difficult FP1. Jack Kennedy, Peter Hickman and Richard Cooper rounded out the top ten.

Defending BSB champion Byrne made an early break during the opening stages but Brookes showed some ominous form to bang in a 1m 35.146s lap to pull out half a second on the chasing pack.

The lap would have been enough to give the Milwaukee Yamaha rider fourth on the grid during qualifying at Oulton Park in May, demonstrating the gains made by Shaun Muir's team with the new R1 over the summer stretch in which Brookes has notched up six consecutive race wins.

The majority of the BSB field settled into longer race runs during the afternoon session before the typical last 10 minute blast. As the session ticked down to zero Hopkins broke Brookes' dominance with a stunning last lap.