Motorcycling: Parkes and Morais set standard for Kawasaki

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The Independent Online

Broc Parkes and his Kawasaki World Superbike team-mate Sheridan Morais set the free practice pace ahead of the weekend's triple-race eighth round of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch.

The team are making a one-off appearance in the British series during the long summer break in the WSB championship, with owner Paul Bird eager to capitalise on further development of his machines in a competitive racing environment.

His riders took full advantage, with Parkes setting a scorching pace in the afternoon session, his best lap of one minute 26.910 seconds coming at an average speed of 95.30mph.

Morais, deputising for the injured Makoto Tamada on the team's second bike, was equally impressive – the 24-year-old South African set a best time of 1min 27.023secs. Scotland's Stuart Easton was the best of the series regulars, with a time of 1:27.435 aboard his Hydrex Honda, two tenths quicker than Tommy Hill.

Hill, deputising for the injured Sylvain Guintoli aboard the Worx Crescent Suzuki, goes into his "home" round of the series believing he has unfinished business after his disappointment at Mallory Park.

Chris Walker, who ran fastest in the damp morning session, had to settle for fifth for Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha, just ahead of Julien da Costa riding the MSS Colchester Kawasaki, with Karl Muggeridge, quickly getting to grips with the HM Plant Honda, seventh from Michael Rutter who is riding for his fourth team of the season. He has replaced the injured Simon Andrews on the second MSS Colchester bike and his improved lap in the closing moments of the session relegated series leader Leon Camier to ninth.