Joan Lascorz was the surprise front runner following the first day of official World Supersport testing at Portimao, the Spaniard returning Kawasaki to the head of the timesheets.

Having established himself as a race win contender aboard a Honda in 2008, Lascorz was able to carry that form through to testing as he made his first official appearance as a factory Kawasaki rider.

With the Japanese manufacturer switching backing to the new Provec Motocard.com team in 2009, Lascorz's best time placed him marginally ahead of morning pace setter Cal Crutchlow.

With cold weather preventing the circuit, which was wet in the morning, from ever reaching optimum conditions, lap times were around four seconds slower than they were during the final round of the 2008 championship two months ago. Still, warmer temperatures did allow the riders some meaningful dry running during the closing stages.

It remained competitive at the front though, with four of the five manufacturers being represented inside the top four, returnee Kenan Sofuoglu going third best for Ten Kate Honda and Barry Veneman taking the sole Hoegee Suzuki to the fourth best time.

Elsewhere, Triumph weren't too far off the pace either, with Gianluca Nannelli and Garry McCoy ninth and tenth aboard the Be1 machine.

Reigning champion Andrew Pitt was fifth quickest, ahead of local favourite Miguel Praia, Stiggy's Gianluca Vizziello and Yamaha's Michele Pirro.

Elsewhere, Lascorz's team-mate Katsuaki Fujiwara was just outside the top ten in 12th, while Anthony West's high-profile debut for Stiggy Honda saw him down in 13th. Having gone well in the wet morning session, Eugene Laverty could only manage 16th this time.