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Shane Byrne has bolted away from the chasing pack with a blistering lap under the outright record to pull out the thick end of a second on nearest rival Luke Mossey.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider had looked comfortable at the top of the timings having posted a 1m 14.973s but in a late blast of hot laps the four-time MCE British Superbike champion produced a stunning time of 1m 14.340s to go comfortably under the previous outright lap record.
Having set his best lap on his final flyer his competition was left roundly stunned and with little in response, despite Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Mossey making a late gain to jump to second with a 1m 15.169s – 0.8s off of Byrne.
Lee Jackson completed an impressive Friday practice showing in third for Buildbase BMW ahead of Honda's Jason O'Halloran as Richard Cooper rounded out the top five.
Ryuichi Kiyonari rapidly bounced back from an underwhelming FP1 to take sixth overall and of Christian Iddon with Jake Dixon inside at Tyco BMW wedge with Michael Laverty staying ahead of JG Speedfit Kawasaki's Peter Hickman by 0.001s.
Double rostrum winner from Snetterton Dan Linfoot narrowly missed out on the top ten as Team WD-40 Kawasaki's Jack Kennedy surged up the competitive midfield past Glenn Irwin and Billy McConnell as Leon Haslam rounded out to the top 15.