British rider Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Racing Team Yamaha) carried on his dominant form in the WSS class by taking provisional pole at Portimao after the first qualifying session with a 1’45.724 lap time that none of his rivals could get near.
He was 0.522 seconds ahead of the reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) although none of the top riders are yet at lap record pace at an increasingly bumpy 4.592km Portuguese circuit.
Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) made use of the track knowledge he gained after a winter test at Portimao to go third in the first qualifying session as his rookie season continues at a high pace yet again.
Kevin Coghlan (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini) placed 11th but Christian Iddon (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse) only set six laps in the session and therefore he ended day one 23rd.
One more qualifying session on Saturday will determine the final grid places for Sunday’s 20-lap race.