Josh Brookes got his Knockhill weekend off to a perfect start by topping the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship free practice for the Be Wiser Ducati team, holding off a closing Danny Buchan by 0.014s in an incredibly close session where the top 18 riders were covered by just 0.984s.
Brookes had set the benchmark earlier in the session and despite his rivals closing in, the 2015 champion had done enough to stay on top of the times as he targets another winning double on Sunday in his quest to bag the £75,000 Integro Triple Crown prize.
Tarran Mackenzie gave the Scottish fans something to cheer about by finishing the opening session third on his return to action for McAMS Yamaha after he was sidelined with concussion last time out at Brands Hatch following a crash in qualifying.
After his return to the podium at Brands Hatch, Dan Linfoot was fourth fastest as he moved ahead of Scott Redding on the second of the Be Wiser Ducatis to finish the session just 0.110s off the fastest lap of Brookes.
Christian Iddon was inside the top three earlier in the session but the Tyco BMW rider ended the session sixth fastest and the best of the BMWs, holding off Luke Mossey and Bradley Ray who were the battling Suzukis in seventh and eighth. Peter Hickman and Glenn Irwin completed the top then with Andrew Irwin and Keith Farmer just nudged out.
Jason O’Halloran was 13th and just ahead of championship leader Tommy Bridewell, the McAMS Yamaha rider sliding off in the closing stages of the session unhurt.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, Free Practice 1 result:
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 48.001s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +0.014s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.073s
- Dan Linfoot (Santander Salt TAG Yamaha) +0.110s
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.162s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.242s
- Luke Mossey (OMG Racing Suzuki) +0.254s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.258s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.268s
- Glenn Irwin (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.285s