Stobart Honda's Michael Rutter led the way round the new look Mallory Park circuit, setting the pace with a 56.550secs lap ahead of round six of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
Mallory is Rutter's home circuit and he is hoping it will be the turning point of his season. Karl Harris on the HM Plant Honda was only 0.008secs off Rutter's time and he is hungry for his first win in the Superbike class, his team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari was third fastest. The young Japanese rider is back on form after having a few lack lustre results; he took a commanding pole position at the rained off Mondello round and will no doubt be out to do the same again this weekend at a circuit where he crashed heavily last year.
Breaking the Honda run was Leon Haslam in fourth place on the Airwaves Ducati and just 0.004secs behind Haslam was another Honda this time in Red Bull colours with Johnny Rea on board.
Top Kawasaki was Dean Thomas on the Hawk machine lapping in ninth place. His team have tested recently at Mallory so he has the benefit of knowing the new stretch of circuit. Thomas did say that he was concerned that fitting thirty superbikes through the new chicane at the start of the race could be pretty hairy. Michael Laverty and his Stobart team have also tested at Mallory and he feels the new chicane adds something to the circuit.
Top privateer James Buckingham on the Quay Garage Honda was running in an impressive fourteenth position.
BSB free practice one – Mallory Park:
1. Michael Rutter
2. Karl Harris
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari
4. Leon Haslam
5. Johnny Rea
6. Gregorio Lavilla
7. Michael Laverty
8. Shane Byrne
9. Dean Thomas
10. Glen Richards