With just over 30 minutes of the session remaining, Lowes was already the quickest, but Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne decided to make his mark out on the 300 circuit and set a 1’49.049 time, de-placing the youngster from the top.
But with three minutes left Lowes put in a 1’49.008, to go four hundredths of a second faster than the reigning champ, then the Honda rider went even better and on his last lap clocked his fastest time and was the only rider in the whole session to lap in the 1’48’s, but the rider was still four tenths of a second off the lap record.
Lowes’ team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari had a slow start to the free practice session, but when he did make it out went to sixth, to fourth and then when the chequered flag appeared he clocked the third fastest time of 1’49.985.
Padgett’s rider Jakub Smrz was as high as second overall in the timesheets with twenty minutes remaining, and had a consistent session lapping in the 1’49’s. The Czech Republic rider ended the morning fourth fastest.
Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes did experience a problem with his bike at Brundle, which caused the session to be red flagged with thirteen minutes remaining as the machine was in a dangerous position. After making his way to the pits the Aussie did make it back out on track to clock a 1’50.150 lap.
It was a battle of the Buildbase BMW team-mates this morning, with both James Westmoreland and Jon Kirkham setting similar lap times, but after the 45 minutes were up, Westmoreland had the slight edge and was 0.2 seconds quicker than Kirkham, who ended the session seventh quickest.
Quattro Plant rider Chris Walker, Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison and Doodson Motorsport's Robbin Harms rounded off the top ten. Some riders did not finish the session, Tyco Suzuki’s PJ Jacobsen fell at Oggies but was unhurt, and MH Kawasaki’s Michael Howarth had a technical problem at Agostini, and did not make it back out of his garage to complete the session.
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