Leon Haslam has started as he means to go on ahead of the final Bennetts British Superbike round of the season by going fastest in first free practice at Brands Hatch.

The HM Plant Honda rider, who is eyeing victories six and seven this weekend, hit the top of the timesheets with only a couple of minutes on the clock remaining to edge Yamaha's Karl Harris.

Harris had been looking good for the top spot having occupied the fastest time for much of the session, only for Haslam to go quicker in the final minutes and keep him two tenths at bay.

Few surprise faces marked the top positions as newly crowned champion Shane Byrne and Cal Crutchlow prepared for their final BSB weekends with the third and fourth best laps, while Leon Camier followed in fifth.

Tom Sykes was sixth fastest, ahead of Michael Rutter, James Ellison and Michael Laverty, with Billy McConnell completing the top ten.

In the Cup competition, Gary Mason will attempt to put his disqualification at Silverstone behind him with another double victory. The Quay Garage Honda rider slipped to fourth behind Tom Tunstall after being removed from the Silverstone results following a technical infringement.

Nonetheless, Mason made a good start to proceedings this weekend with the 17th best time overall, just ahead of John Laverty.


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