Click here for full BSB FP3 results at Brands Hatch

James Ellison has shown a strong return to form by topping the final free practice session of the 2015 MCE British Superbike championship with title fighters Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne in second and third respectively.

In a fitting end to the season, it was the top three in the riders' standings which dominated FP3 at Brands Hatch with each enjoying a stint at the top of the timesheet. Brookes appeared to have found an edge on his rivals for a large portion of the session until the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider produced a late blast to go quickest by a quarter of a second.

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Brookes' only title challenger Byrne - who needs to overhaul a 47-point deficit in the final round triple-header - completed the top three but perhaps significantly is nearly a full second off Ellison's hot lap.

Danny Buchan followed his PBM Kawasaki team-mate closely in fourth as BSB Riders' Cup favourite Richard Cooper rounded out the top five.

A late crash at Surtees prematurely ended Jakub Smrz's challenge in sixth while new British Supersport champion Luke Stapleford impressed in seventh.

Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati's John Hopkins spent the majority of the session in the pits with a technical issue but was able to get out and set a fast lap before the end to take eighth, as Bennetts Suzuki's Christian Iddon and RAF Reserves BMW's Peter Hickman completed the top ten.

Despite the cold temperatures matching Friday's practice session the Brands Hatch circuit grew a distinct dry line thanks to much lighter cloud cover and the sun threatening to shine.

Byrne and Ellison were the early pace setters in the 1m 28s before Brookes found useful gains to move top with a 1m 27.997s. Honda Racing's Dan Linfoot suffered his second fall of the race weekend midway through FP3 at Hawthorn bend which ruled him out of the remainder of the session.

Fellow Showdown contender Tommy Bridewell also crashed out of the final practice session of the season at the left-hander Surtees corner.

In the final 15 minutes Brookes clearly got the Milwaukee Yamaha dialled in strongly with a couple of consecutive fastest laps to pull out a 1.3s cushion on the chasing pack headed by his sole title rival Byrne.

With the last blast of qualifying-style laps Brookes' advantage was eaten away with Byrne closing to within two-tenths.

However, it was a resurgent Ellison who stole the headlines late on with a flyer to pinch top spot from Brookes by a quarter of a second.