Dumas fastest in FP1 at Shannonville

Alex Dumas has snatched the mantle of rider to beat entering GP Bikes Pro Superbike qualifying on Friday afternoon, topping morning practice at round one from Shannonville Motorsport Park. 

Dumas and rival Ben Young traded moments at the top throughout the session as they ramped up the pace immediately, despite slightly cool conditions persisting throughout the morning. 

Defending champion Young had taken the top mark at the halfway point and his 1:05.264 lap time stood tall for majority of the 40-minute period, but Dumas put together a pair of fast laps in the final five minutes to better him with a time of 1:05.074. 

The Purple Skull Brewing/Liqui Moly Suzuki rider will hope the early advantage is just a sign of things to come on Friday, with qualifying later this afternoon at SMP. As for Young, the Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider will hope warmer conditions can bring a touch more pace to his M1000RR as he kicks off his title defence. 

Third in the session was veteran Jordan Szoke, the 14-time champion going 0.766 seconds slower than the lead duo aboard his LDS Consultants Kawasaki. However, the true takeaway for Szoke was his 12 laps completed, a solid stint for the recovering star as he hopes to have the endurance for this weekend’s pair of 22-lap feature races. 

Sam Guerin would place his EFC Group BMW fourth and just 0.171 seconds behind Szoke as he eyes a front-row spot this afternoon, while Trevor Daley already appeared to be in race mode as he completed 21 laps to go fifth aboard his OneSpeed Suzuki.

Experienced SMP rider Jordan Royds impressed in sixth aboard his IBEW BMW, just 0.236 seconds off Daley and the top-five, while rookie John Fraser was the only other rider to break into the 1:07 mark, going seventh in the end but briefly running as high as fourth aboard his RLS Contracting Suzuki. 

Matt Simpson topped a quiet morning practice session in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class, completing eleven laps aboard his Blackstock Motorsports Yamaha with a best time of 1:08.756.

Conditions were much better than Thursday but still weren’t ideal in the first session of the day, leading many of the top names to keep their machines parked in the paddock and turn their focus to qualifying this afternoon.

Second to Simpson was SpeedFactory67 Kawasaki rookie Alex Michel, going 1.8 seconds off the pace but completing a session-high 13 laps. Just behind him was fellow rookie Nathan Playford, who’s Ducati ran into mechanical problems midway through the session as he hopes to have things turned around in time for qualifying.

The top Bickle Racing Pro Twins rider of the session was veteran Jeff Williams, who comfortably paced the first official run of the new class on his Williams Paving Aprilia. 

Both Pro classes will turn their attention to shaping the grid for this weekend’s races, with Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike and Bickle Racing Pro Twins expected to qualify at 1:10 pm ET before GP Bikes Pro Superbike kicks off with Q1 at 2:40 and the top-ten Q2 shootout at 3:10 pm ET. 

The full schedule as well as live timing can be found on the series’ official website.