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Davide Giugliano has emerged quickest from the first day of World Superbike Championship action at Assen having set out an impressive benchmark for his rivals, despite suffering a fall in the closing stages.

The Italian had already hinted at his intentions early on when he twice dislodged FP1 pace setter Jonathan Rea from the top of the timesheets during the first-half of the session, however when he was unseated from his position again by Alex Lowes with five minutes remaining, his response would blow the field away.

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Lapping in 1min 35.396secs, it would send Giugliano seven tenths of a second clear of the opposition for a time around a circuit that notoriously sees close competition between the top riders. However, Giugliano's session did not end in style, the Ducati rider dropping his 1199 Panigale at the final corner to give his crew work to do overnight.

PATA Honda's Rea improved late on to reduce the margin to the top as the only other rider inside 1min 36secs, but he remained a clear half second adrift.

Tom Sykes enjoyed a brief stint at the top of the timesheets before dipping to third, while Lowes would end up an impressive fourth, despite a late fall preventing him from making any further gains.

Completing Ducati's successful day, Chaz Davies rose to fifth place, ahead of Loris Baz and Eugene Laverty, while Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri endured a quiet day for Aprilia in eighth and ninth respectively.

In the EVO class, Niccolo Canepa was once again quickest, but run closer by Leon Camier on the BMW Italia, while Ayrton Badovini ended the day third in class on the Bimota and Sheridan Morais was a fine fourth (15th overall) having only been 23rd in FP1.

Ahead of the all-important FP3 tomorrow, Christian Iddon, Fabien Foret, Claudio Corti, David Salom and Jeremy Guarnoni are currently 'safe' to reach Superpole, with Luca Scassa and Michel Fabrizio amongst those in the 'danger zone' below.