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Jonathan Rea has given Ten Kate Racing a perfect start to its home round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship at Assen by topping first free practice around the Dutch circuit.
The British rider, who has won four races at Assen during his time at Ten Kate Racing – which is based close to the circuit – leapt to the top of the timesheets with his final lap, his effort of 1min 36.549secs putting him just under a tenth ahead of his rivals.
Rea's late charge was enough to deny what had looked like a Loris Baz occupied top spot, the Frenchman lowering his lap time steadily in the closing stages before his PATA Honda rival usurped him at the latest opportunity.
Davide Giugliano made it three different manufacturers inside the top three, the Italian fending off championship leader Tom Sykes on the second Kawasaki as the Japanese firm kicked off its weekend strongly.
Another late improver, Eugene Laverty headed up Suzuki team-mate Alex Lowes in fifth position, the latter opening up well around a circuit he knows from his time in BSB. Marco Melandri was seventh quickest, ahead of early session pace setter Sylvain Guintoli in seventh and eighth, while Niccolo Canepa headed up the EVO contingent in ninth.
Leon Haslam rounded out the top ten, ahead of Chaz Davies, while Bimota continued its impressive form from Aragon, with Christian Iddon and Ayrton Badovini a noteworthy 12th and 13th respectively.
A full grid of 28 riders will compete this weekend, including local wild-card Kervin Bos on an EVO specification Honda CBR100RR.