Kev Coghlan (DMC Panavto-Yamaha) looked on course to head up the 24-rider Supersport World Championship field after the first day of free practice, but he had to settle for second place, having led in the opening morning session.
Coghlan is only 0.019 seconds behind the official MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich F3 of Aussie race winner Jules Cluzel after the first two free practice sessions.
Cluzel’s leading lap time of 2’02.461 made him just over a second slower than Sam Lowes’s 2013 best lap, but he is already under the lap record pace with one more free practice and then the lone qualifying session to come on Saturday.
In blazing sunshine Pata Honda rider Michael van Der Mark was third, with the top Kawasaki being the Intermoto Ponyexpres ZX-6R of Frenchman Florian Marino in fourth. Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda) was just behind, despite a recent skin graft to his left middle finger.
A tough opening day for championship favourite Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India) saw him lose an engine in the morning, and then struggle to go sixth after the first two free sessions.
Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) was seventh and former Moto2 rider Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) eighth.
Jack Kennedy finished his comeback day from injury in tenth place for his CIA Insurance Honda team.
1 16 J. CLUZEL FRA MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich M. MV Agusta F3 675 2'02.461
2 88 K. COGHLAN GBR DMC Panavto-Yamaha Yamaha YZF R6 2'02.480 0.019 0.019
3 60 M. VD MARK NED PATA Honda World Supersport Honda CBR600RR 2'02.684 0.223 0.204
4 21 F. MARINO FRA Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki ZX-6R 2'03.055 0.594 0.371
5 26 L. ZANETTI ITA PATA Honda World Supersport Honda CBR600RR 2'03.160 0.699 0.105
6 54 K. SOFUOGLU TUR MAHI Racing Team India Kawasaki ZX-6R 2'03.173 0.712 0.013
7 99 P. JACOBSEN USA Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki ZX-6R 2'03.362 0.901 0.189
8 14 R. WILAIROT THA Core PTR Honda Honda CBR600RR 2'03.875 1.414 0.513
9 84 R. RUSSO ITA Team Lorini Honda CBR600RR 2'03.907 1.446 0.032
10 4 J. KENNEDY IRL CIA Insurance Honda Honda CBR600RR 2'04.042 1.581 0.135
11 35 R. DE ROSA ITA CIA Insurance Honda Honda CBR600RR 2'04.226 1.765 0.184
12 61 F. MENGHI ITA VFT Racing Yamaha YZF R6 2'04.382 1.921 0.156
13 5 R. TAMBURINI ITA San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R 2'04.519 2.058 0.137
14 24 M. BUSSOLOTTI ITA Team Lorini Honda CBR600RR 2'04.638 2.177 0.119
15 65 V. LEONOV RUS MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich M. MV Agusta F3 675 2'04.695 2.234 0.057