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Shane Byrne has darted to the top of the times in the opening free practice session at Brands Hatch as the Be Wiser Ducati squad started fastest with Glenn Irwin pushed into third after Dan Linfoot's late improvement.
The MCE British Superbike championship lead suffered had an uncharacteristic fall at Sheene corner but was able to recover his Ducati Panigale R to ride back to the pits with minimal damage.
After his crew fixed the bike Byrne demonstrated his impressive pace around the Brands Hatch GP layout by going top with a 1m 25.518s – less than a tenth of the lap record.
Byrne had displaced team-mate Irwin at the top to set-up a Be Wiser Ducati one-two but Honda's Linfoot denied the headline with his final flyer to take second from the Northern Irish rider.
Luke Mossey produced his typical fast starts to a race weekend by taking fourth for Quattro Plant Kawasaki, ahead of Buildbase BMW's Richard Cooper and Bennetts Suzuki's Tommy Bridewell who is running a special Barry Sheene anniversary livery.
Lee Jackson claimed seventh ahead of Showdown contender Jason O'Halloran as Christian Iddon and James Ellison rounded out the top ten.
The session was temporarily suspended after just seven minutes with a red flag stoppage caused by Jack Kennedy suffering a heavy off at Stirlings.
Leon Haslam ended the opening session 12th overall, with JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mate Peter Hickman 14th, while the returning John Hopkins eased back into action after his injury by placing his ePayMe Yamaha 20th on the timesheet.