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Tom Sykes has picked up where he left from Donington Park by setting the pace in a typically close FP1 session at Portimao, round six of the 2013 World Superbike Championship.

The Briton, who dominated last time out around his home circuit, leapt to the top of the timesheets in the closing stages as times improved in the final minutes, Sykes coming away a tenth up on Michel Fabrizio.

However, with less than a second covering the top eleven around one of the calendar's longest circuits, the Portuguese weekend is destined to be a competitive one.

Following up Fabrizio in second, Jonathan Rea made late gains to go third quickest, ahead of Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri, the latter pushed down to fifth place having occupied the top spot for much of the session prior to the late flurry of action.

Series leader Sylvain Guintoli headed up team-mate Eugene Laverty in sixth and seventh, with Loris Baz, Davide Giugliano, Leon Camier and Carlos Checa the remaining riders to get within a second to Sykes.

Elsewhere, Leon Haslam was a respectable 12th quickest as he looks to make a full return from injury this weekend, ahead of Ayrton Badovini, Jules Cluzel and Max Neukirchner. Further back, Ivan Clementi returns to WSBK action this weekend for HTM Racing having been forced to skip Monza and Donington Park due to funding issues.


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