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WSS: Crutchlow lays down Imola marker

Cal Crutchlow allayed fears that the Imola track surface would prove problematic during World Supersport free practice by picking up where he left off from the Nurburgring.

Following a lengthy delay to proceedings due concerns that the track surface was too slippery, the Supersport riders tentatively made it out onto track three hours later than planned, with Kenan Sofuoglu setting the initial pace.

Indeed, the times tumbled over the hour as the riders regained confidence, although Crutchlow himself didn't venture onto circuit for the first half of the session, instead allowing his rivals lay rubber down.

Nonetheless, the Yamaha rider went fastest with his first effort before proceedings to chip away at his best as the clock wound down. Although Sofuoglu would briefly regain the top spot, it was Crutchlow that would emerge half a second up on the Turk at the chequered flag.

Although he didn't test at Imola in July, newly re-signed Joan Lascorz was a strong third fastest on the Provec Kawasaki, while Eugene Laverty was fourth best – albeit 2.5secs slower than Crutchlow.

Despite the loss of Gianluca Nannelli and Gianluca Vizziello, six home-grown riders will race at Imola and Michele Pirro flew the flag in FP1 on the Lorenzini by Leoni Yamaha in fifth, ahead of a series of Hondas, Mark Aithcison leading Massimo Roccoli, Andrew Pitt and Anthony West.

Unfazed by the unusual circumstances affecting his first day on the job, debutant Chaz Davies made a very promising start on the BE1 Triumph, setting the tenth best time to comfortably out pace more experienced team-mate Garry McCoy.

Despite the highly publicised track surface concerns, not one rider experienced a fall during the session.



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