Ten Kate Honda got its World Supersport weekend in Portugal off to a positive start by posting a comfortable 1-2 result during opening free practice for the second round of the season.
Former champion Kenan Sofuoglu
was the team's leading representative, the Turk cruising to the fastest time with a lap of 1min 46.631secs, some four tenths faster than team-mate Michele Pirro.
Pirro had held the top spot for much of the session before Sofuoglu usurped him with just over ten minutes remaining. Nonetheless, the Italian held firm in second, fending off Kawasaki's Joan Lascorz by just half a tenth.
Just behind, Triumph will have reason to be pleased after Jason Di Salvo posted an impressive fourth fastest time, marginally quicker than team-mate Chaz Davies in fifth.
Both riders were quicker than Phillip Island race winner Eugene Laverty and his Parkalgar Honda counterpart Miguel Praia, the 'home' favourites settling in sixth and seventh positions. Lorenzini Kawasaki's Fabien Foret led factory rider Katsuaki Fujiwara in eighth, while David Salom rounded out the top ten on the third of the four BE1 Triumphs.
Elsewhere, Gino Rea was a strong 11th – ahead of more experienced Intermoto Honda team-mate Massimo Roccoli -, while Matthieu Lagrive made his Triumph debut in a solid 12th place.
Meanwhile, the grid will swell from 17 to 20 this weekend by virtue of one newcomer – Bastien Chesaux on the Harms Benjan Honda – and two wild-card entrants, the latter of which returning Yamaha to the Supersport fray.