World Supersport Championship leader Cal Crutchlow began the latest round of the series at Misano in style by claiming a dominant fastest time during opening free practice.

The British rider moved to the top of the timesheets with 20 minutes of the session remaining, gradually lowering his best effort to emerge some four tenths up on Kawasaki's Joan Lascorz.

The Spaniard had been the man to beat for the majority of the session, sitting atop of the timesheets when a red flag for oil on the circuit brought about a lengthy stoppage.

Nonetheless, most of the quick times were set in the latter stages of the session, with Kenan Sofuoglu just holding off title chaser Eugene Laverty in third and fourth, the latter having spent much of his time at the bottom end of the top ten.

Veterans Fabien Foret and Andrew Pitt followed in fifth and sixth, ahead of Honda compatriots Mark Aitchison and Massimo Roccoli, while Michele Pirro and Katsuaki Fujiwara completed the top ten positions.

Elsewhere, Barry Veneman looked set to cause a surprise as he briefly held fourth on his new Pioneer Honda before dropping back to 17th, just behind Althea's new signing Flavio Gentile in 15th.

Michael Laverty, meanwhile, returns to action with his third different team in three races, this time on the Echo CRS Honda in place of Russell Holland.

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