Lucas Mahias (MG Competition Yamaha) proved to be the fastest Supersport World Championship rider on day one at Losail, running just over a second slower than the previous track best, as the track surface gradually started to improve.
After the usual frantic push for the best overnight grid positions several riders managed to go faster than Mahias’s time in the first split, but lost out from then on, leaving the French rider on top of the pile at the start of the 12th and final round.
World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured second fastest day one time, 0.133 seconds behind Mahias, with a late charge from Britain’s Kyle Smith (Pata Honda) taking him to a determined third.
A late crash put paid to the early ambitions of PJ Jacobsen (Core” Motorsport Thailand Honda) as he finished fourth. Replacing Jules Cluzel for the official MV Agusta team once again, Nico Terol was fast from the start and fifth overall, while Britain’s Gino Rea (CIA Landlords’ Insurance) placed sixth after the two opening sessions.
Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) was well behind Rea, but seventh, with late season bloomer Kevin Wahr (SMS Honda) eighth; slowed by another rider at one stage of his quickest lap.
Super-experienced Roby Rolfo (Team Lorini Honda) was ninth and the MV Agusta of Lorenzo Zanetti rounded out the top ten. Aussie rider Aiden Wagner (CIA Landlords’ Insurance Honda) was 13th.