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.

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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 Frida