Cal Crutchlow put his recent experience of a track day around the Nurburgring to good use as he took charge during opening free practice at the German circuit for the latest round of the World Supersport Championship

The series leader heads into the weekend eager to re-establish his margin over Eugene Laverty, which was heavily reduced in Brno when he retired with mechanical problems whilst leading close to the finish.

He started in fine fashion around the damp circuit, ending the session three tenths ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu on the Ten Kate Honda. Laverty, meanwhile, could only manage ninth position on the Parkalgar machine, the Irishman only the fifth quickest Honda CBR600RR rider.

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Garry McCoy was a strong third on the Triumph, ahead of Michele Pirro on the Lorenzini by Leoni Yamaha, while Mark Aitchison on the sole Althea Honda machine emerged in fifth position.

Joan Lascorz led Kawasaki's charge in ninth, ahead of Anthony West and Andrew Pitt, while Honda counterpart Barry Veneman completed a good session for the Japanese manufacturer in tenth position.

Elsewhere, Sam Lowes and Michael Laverty did a fine job in 13th and 14th positions respectively on the ECHO CRS Honda.