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Shane Byrne has pulled out almost half a second advantage on nearest rival Christian Iddon in the opening free practice session at Thruxton.

The Be Wiser Ducati rider has carried his momentum from his race two win at Snetterton, which also claimed him the MCE British Superbike championship lead, and has immediately produced impressive pace at the high-speed Thruxton track.

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Having grabbed top spot early in the session, Byrne's best time of 1m 15.111s rarely looked troubled despite a flurry of late improvements from Iddon and Luke Mossey.

Iddon's charge on the Tyco BMW was somewhat thwarted with three minutes of the session remaining when he pulled up with a technical issue at Seagrave.

With Mossey taking third Buildbase BMWs Lee Jackson impressed with fourth on the timesheet ahead of maiden race winner at the last round Jason O'Halloran.

Billy McConnell has continued to up the pace on the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki by taking sixth ahead of the second Buildbase BMW of Richard Cooper and double podium winner from Snetterton Dan Linfoot.

Local rider Tommy Bridewell has narrowly edged the recently-signed Jake Dixon on the RAF Reserves BMW who is adjusting to life in BSB incredibly fast having made his debut last month at Knockhill.

Notably the JG Speedfit Kawasaki trio were somewhat off the single-lap hot pace with James Ellison in P21, Peter Hickman P22 and Leon Haslam P24 - while three-time BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari languished in P27 on the Bennetts Suzuki.

ePayMe Yamaha's John Hopkins has been forced to sit out the Thruxton round on the advice of the medics having not sufficiently recovered from a broken and dislocated collarbone and broken ribs.