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A fine late lap from Jonathan Rea saw him top World Superbike FP1 at Portimão by a whopping seven tenths of a second from Davide Giugliano.
Rea had spent much of the session behind the Aruba.it Ducatis of Giugliano and Chaz Davies until the first lap of his final run clocked in at 1m 43.5s, making him the first and only rider to lap under 1m 44s this weekend.
Coming into the seventh round of the series, Giugliano had said he expected an improvement in results after recent upgrades to his Panigale. The Italian duly went fastest after putting in a first run high on both speed and consistency.
After initially struggling to get near the top-ten, Alex Lowes put his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki into third, courtesy of his final lap. The #22 split the Ducatis and relegated Chaz Davies to fourth fastest.
Next came Rea's team-mate and Donington double winner Tom Sykes, who was unable to lap within one second of the championship leader's best time.
There were notable improvements for Ayrton Badovini, whose BMW was lapping within half a second of the session's best until Rea's late run. The Italian ended Friday morning sixth while Sylvain Guintoli, third early on in the session, was seventh.
Usually slow to get up to speed on a Friday, Jordi Torres will be heartened by his eighth fastest time. The Spaniard's emotions will however be in contrast to team-mate Leon Haslam's, who failed to set a time after problems with his RSV4 RF persisted throughout the 45 minutes.
Matteo Baiocco was ninth, a place ahead of David Salom and two of Leon Camier who set the eleventh fastest time.