HM Plant Honda's Karl Harris put his new machine at the top of the time sheets during a damp free practice session at Brands Hatch ahead of the first round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

Second place was taken up by former HM Plant rider, Michael Rutter now on board the Stobart machine; however the Honda run was stopped by Shane "Shakey" Byrne on the Rizla Suzuki. Considering the lack of pre season testing that the Suzuki squad have had, Byrne and Haydon are looking strong.

The top five were lapping in the 48secs and 49secs, which is still way off the lap record set by Ryuichi Kiyonari last year, when he lapped in 45.954secs.

Leon Haslam and Gregorio Lavilla on the Airwaves Ducatis were fourth and sixth respectively, with young Ulsterman Johnny Rea on his Red Bull Honda splitting the Dukes.

The Virgin Yamaha "youngsters" had a good session with Tommy Hill leading the way in ninth place, Billy McConnell in tenth and Kieran Clarke in fourteenth.

BSB free practice (1) results - Brands Hatch:

1. Karl Harris
2. Michael Rutter
3. Shane Byrne
4. Leon Haslam
5. Jonathan Rea
6. Gregorio Lavilla
7. Ryuichi Kiyonari
8. James Haydon
9. Tommy Hill
10. Billy McConnell