Simon Andrews maintained his recent run of good form by outpacing Leon Camier, the leader of the ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli, in free practice ahead of the fifth round at Snetterton.
Riding the MSS Colchester Kawasaki, Andrews, from Evesham, put in a best time of 1m 05.888s, an average speed of 106.65mph, around the 1.952 mile Norfolk circuit, and in buoyant mood, he reflected: “The bike and me are now talking the same language and it feels right to be at the pointy end to be honest.”
Camier, who put in only half the laps of Andrews in a hectic session, closed within 0.002secs. “We had a couple of minor problems but nothing to be concerned about, and we are working on the settings. These races come at a busy time, with a wild-card ride in World Superbikes and then the trip to Knockhill in the next two weeks.
“It’s a tough schedule, but an exciting one,” said Camier. “Obviously they are all important to me and the team, but, the first priority has to be the races here. I’m not putting pressure on myself about it all – let’s get one out of the way, and then worry about the next.”
Camier has won six of the eight races so far to be 38 points clear of his Airwaves Yamaha team-mate James Ellison who had to settle for tenth place on the leaderboard though only 0.381s down on Andrews.
In between them, Karl Harris and Stuart Easton packed the power on their Hydrex Hondas, running third and fourth best, marginally faster than the twin Australian challengers Josh Brookes and Glen Richards aboard their HM Plant Hondas.
Frenchman Julien da Costa clocked a lap of 1m 06.204s to put the second MSS Colchester bike into seventh place, running 0.003s up on Michael Rutter, who was making the most of his second outing on the Worx Crescent Suzuki.
Rutter was just ahead of Ian Lowry on a similar bike running in Relentless colours. Chris Walker was 11th best on the Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha, with his best lap of 1m 06.310s a quarter of a second up on the leading Mirror.co.uk Cup rider Gary Mason who, aboard the Quay Garage Honda, is aiming to extend his unbeaten eight race winning start to the campaign.
Martin Jessopp, aboard the Riders Racing Honda, was second fastest in the Cup stakes, six places and half a second down on Mason, with Peter Hickman, Ultimate Racing Yamaha, third from the Hardinge Doodson Honda rider Tom Tunstall and Jx Fuelcards Kawasaki’s Kenny Gilbertson.