Chris Walker got things underway for the eighth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship by posting the quickest time in first free practice at a damp Brands Hatch.

With overnight rain making the conditions difficult in the initial stages, most of the quick times were set in the closing minutes as riders attempted to make a good impression early on.

Ultimately, the session would be split between a handful of newcomers that required the additional mileage, and those that kept their running to a minimum.

Leon Camier was amongst those to complete just a few laps in the early minutes before bringing his session to an early conclusion, while James Ellison and Karl Harris didn't manage a single lap.

Instead, it was Walker, buoyed by his second podium of the season last time out at Mallory Park, that led the way in the drying conditions, just a tenth up on HM Plant Honda's new rider, Karl Muggeridge, the Australian doing an impressive job on his first competitive outing with the team.

He was followed by Sheridan Morais on the visiting World Superbike Kawasaki ZX-10R, the South African finishing a second quicker than more experience team-mate Broc Parkes, the Australian emerging in sixth position.

Between them, Tommy Hill made it four different manufacturers inside the top four on the Worx Crescent Suzuki, while fifth place for Buildbase Kawasaki's Tristan Palmer signals a good start to the weekend for 'Team Green'.

Leading Cup rider Gary Mason and Steve Brogan both enjoyed stints at the top of the timesheets, before slipping down to seventh and eighth, while Stuart Easton and David Johnson completed the top ten.