French rider Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich F3) set the best WSS time on the opening day of action at the first-time World Supersport circuit of Sepang, his best time of the two practices being set in the opening session of the day in warm but manageable conditions.
As the track temperatures climbed to over 50°C in the afternoon session Cluzel’s 2.09.423 was unbeaten by any of his rivals, and is the new circuit best for the time being.
British rider Kev Coghlan (DMC Panavto Yamaha) placed seventh after day one, but was only 0.437 seconds back from Cluzel.
Predictably, a few of top riders in day one were seasoned Sepang veterans from other classes of competition, with ex 250 GP and Moto2 rider Cluzel 0.044 seconds ahead of the near-local Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda).
The Thai rider, also with GP experience of Sepang, had a crash in the second session but Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres rider Florian Marino could not leapfrog him for second. Marino had to content himself with being the fastest Kawasaki rider so far.
Michael van der Mark bounced up to fourth on his Pata Honda, the championship leader overcoming the hotter track conditions in the second session on his first visit to Malaysia.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) was another old Moto2 man on the make, fifth, with former 250GP title challenger Roby Rolfo sixth, just passing Coghlan at the end of the second session. Local wildcard Zaqhwan Zaidi (SIC Racing Team Honda) went one place ahead of Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) in 11th, with British rider Fraser Rogers (Com plus SMS Racing Honda) 20th out of 23 riders.
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