Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) scored the early advantage at the Imola race weekend, setting the best lap of the first two practice sessions as he tries to get back into the championship fight. Having already scored two DNFs in three rounds this season he is currently seventh in the overall standings.
Second in the Friday combined qualifying was Britain’s Kevin Coghlan (DMC Panavto Yamaha) with local Pata Honda rider Lorenzo Zanetti third, having led the morning session.
Assen race winner Michael van Der Mark placed fourth today with Phillip Island race winner Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC Yakhnich Motorsport) fifth. MV provided the fourth different make of machine in the top five places on day one.
Championship leader Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) placed sixth after both Friday sessions but had to rely on his morning time to do it, as he went slower in the afternoon.
Local rider Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Team Italia Kawasaki) was seventh at one of his best circuits, with Irishman Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) eighth.
Eighteen-year-old Briton Fraser Rogers (Honda Complus SMS Racing) slotted in 23rd on the opening day at Imola, with one more practice session and then qualifying left to go on Saturday.