Iddon tops free practice at Donington Park
Christian Iddon topped a frantic second free practice session at Donington Park this afternoon, leading the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship pack to fire the Tyco BMW to the top of the times, just 0.143s ahead of the leading Showdown contender Luke Mossey.
The top five riders in the dry afternoon session lapped under the circuit record as the pace rapidly improved despite stoppages, including one for Jenny Tinmouth when she crashed out in the final stages.
Championship leader Leon Haslam had been at the top of the times initially with Michael Laverty breaking up the Showdown contenders of James Ellison, Dan Linfoot, Luke Mossey and Jason O'Halloran.
When the session resumed with ten minutes remaining Glenn Irwin was instantly on the attack and he moved up to third before later crashing at Redgate unhurt with Haslam still leading the pack from Laverty. Irwin wasn’t the only one on the move as another Showdown spoiler got in the mix when John Hopkins posted his fastest lap of the weekend to move into third place as Iddon moved to the top.
Mossey held second position to the chequered flag, holding off Hopkins and an improving Shane 'Shakey' Byrne who bounced back from his crash this morning to finish fourth for the Be Wiser Ducati team.
Mossey said: “We knew that it was going to dry out this afternoon so we decided to sit out the wet session this morning. I am really happy with being second fastest this afternoon and we are already 0.8s faster than we were at the test at the beginning of the year.
“The bike feels really good and I am feeling confident in myself. Now we are in the Showdown I want to be even stronger and I am still looking for that first win. It would be nice to try and bag that this weekend. We aren’t that far off in the points so I really think we can try and close that gap. I feel like we can bag two podiums and that is the goal for this weekend. I am looking forward to it that’s for sure!”
Jason O'Halloran endured the most difficult day of his season so far, crashing three times on the opening day, with two repeat crashes at Goddards during the afternoon session. The Australian stayed ahead of Tommy Bridewell who split the Showdown contenders with Haslam holding seventh on the leading JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
Jakub Smrz was eighth fastest ahead of Irwin and Michael Laverty completing the top ten, just 0.042s ahead of James Ellison who was bumped outside the top ten. Dan Linfoot was the final Showdown contender in 14th place.