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Fresh from their resounding double 1-2 last time out at Sepang, Aprilia has opened up the seventh round of the World Superbike Championship at Misano in similarly comprehensive form with Marco Melandri leading Sylvain Guintoli in FP1.

A double winner in Malaysia, Melandri struck to the front with ten minutes of the session remaining, his 1min 36.938sec effort proving the only sub 1min 37secs lap and two tenths faster than his closest rival Guintoli.

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A resounding opening performance by Aprilia on the weekend its RSV4 Superbikes will compete in a special one-off livery to celebrate Loris Reggiani's win at Misano in 1987 - Aprilia's first world championship win -, Melandri and Guintoli would hold off Chaz Davies in third and Tom Sykes in fourth, the latter having led much of the session before slipping back.

Davide Giugliano rounded out the top five as Ducati got its home weekend off to a strong start, ahead of Loris Baz, Suzuki duo Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty, Jonathan Rea and Toni Elias.

In the EVO class, Niccolo Canepa was fastest on the Althea Ducati in 12th, just ahead of Kawasaki's David Salom and Bimota's Ayrton Badovini.

Meanwhile, Sylvain Barrier was a solid 18th in his first WSBK session since returning from three months out through injury, the Frenchman running as high as 11th as he gets to grips with his BMW S1000RR.

Competing without Yakhnich Motorsport assistance this weekend, Claudio Corti was 20th best on the MV Agusta F4, while Riccardo Russo was 25th on his first WSBK outing having stepped up from Supersport machinery with Pedercini Kawasaki.

Swelling the field to 30 riders this weekend - the largest WSBK grid since 2009 - wild-cards Ivan Goi (Barni Ducati), Matteo Baiocco (Grandi Corse Ducati) and Michael Savary (Dream Team MV Agusta) were 15th, 21st and 28th respectively.