British Superbike champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after crashing during testing at Snetterton on Thursday.

Byrne was taking part in the opening session of the official Snetterton test when he crashed heavily on entry to Palmer's (turn three) on his third lap of the session, bringing out a red flag.

The Be Wiser Ducati rider's fall caused a 15-minute red flag while Byrne was treated.

The six-time champion was taken to the track's medical centre for assessment, where he was briefly unconscious.

He was later taken to the city hospital for further checks.

Series organisers MSV said he was receiving treatment for 'neck and back' injuries.

A 6pm update read: 'Medical update at 18:00: Shane Byrne was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital where he has undergone further assessment and scans this afternoon. He is conscious and alert but remains under observation and is receiving treatment for neck and back injuries.'

The 2018 championship is heading to Snetterton for the fourth round of action on the weekend of June 15-17.

Luke Mossey topped the first session at Snetterton, where a number of British Superbike teams are testing. JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider Mossey recorded a time of one minute 49.889 seconds to take top position in front of Tyco BMW rider Michael Laverty – by just 0.05 of a second. Current BSB championship leader Leon Haslam finished the opening session in third place, in front of one of the early-season title contenders, Bradley Ray on the Buildbase Suzuki. His team-mate Richard Cooper finished fifth.

Snetterton official test, combined times: 1 Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 1m:48.008s, 2 Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.005, 3 Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +0.102, 4 Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.301, 5 Gino Rea (OMG Racing Suzuki) +0.713, 6 Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.880, 7 Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +1.009, 8 Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +1.025, 9 Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +1.062, 10 Sylvain Barrier (Smiths Racing BMW) +1.459.