Andrew Irwin snatched the top spot in the second Bennetts British Superbike Championship free practice at Donington Park for Honda Racing, setting his fastest time on the final lap of the afternoon session to steal the advantage from Peter Hickman at the chequered flag.
The session began with a brief shower but the conditions then continued to improve and the times began to tumble. At the start of the session, Josh Brookes had set the initial pace from Christian Iddon before another one of the Showdown protagonists, Tommy Bridewell edged ahead.
Iddon though was on a run of laps and he went to the top for Tyco BMW, before Showdown contender Tarran Mackenzie fired the McAMS Yamaha ahead. The places again kept changing at the top with Iddon then Brookes trading blows to lead the times.
As the Showdown contenders mixed it up, Taylor Mackenzie became the second Tyco BMW rider to have a spell at the top, before Brookes then pushed him back down the order. A flurry of activity in the closing minutes again saw a change in the order with Hickman hitting the top of the times as the chequered flag was shown, but Irwin was still on a flying lap and he had the edge by 0.203s.
Irwin said: “Today’s been much better, to be honest. I’ve had a tough three rounds really, the past three haven’t been fantastic. It’s only Friday, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to get carried away, but it gives you that little bit of confidence going into Saturday and Sunday so I’ll take that as a positive.
“The bike feels good in these conditions, the wet, dry, kind of mixed conditions. To be honest, it is always something that I’ve been horrendous in before, so it’s good we’ve taken a step forwards in that, and P1 is always a good day. I look forward to tomorrow and hopefully we can do a good job come Sunday.”
Taylor Mackenzie held third place on his debut with the Tyco BMW team, holding off championship leader Scott Redding who had been running second earlier in the session, and Iddon who completed the top five.
Honda Racing’s Xavi Forés managed to move ahead of Brookes in the final moments with Joe Francis again having an impressive session in eighth place for the Lloyd & Jones Bowker BMW team.
Ben Currie and Luke Mossey completed the top ten with Showdown Title Fighters Tarran Mackenzie in 13th place and Bridewell ending the session 26th.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Free Practice 2:
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) 1m:39. 210s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.203s
- Taylor Mackenzie (Tyco BMW) +1.016s
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.065s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.293s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +1.398s
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.551s
- Joe Francis (Lloyd & Jones Bowker BMW) +1.587s
- Ben Currie (Quattro Plant – JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.641s
- Luke Mossey (OMG Racing Suzuki) +2.121s
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