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Nicky Hayden has topped a timesheet for the first time in his burgeoning World Superbike Championship career as he led the way in the short third free practice session at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.

As expected, evolving track conditions would see times quickly plummet over the 15mins, with Hayden striking to the front with his final effort of 1min 34.520secs. The fastest lap of the weekend - a tenth up on his FP2 topping team-mate Michael van der Mark -, he was just ahead of Milwaukee BMW's Karel Abraham, the Czech rider finding a massive 1.7secs over his FP2 benchmark.

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Though no longer counted towards Superpole, the session would indicate a closely run session later today, with the top ten all dipping below 1min 35secs. By contrast, only two riders achieved the same in FP2.

Tom Sykes completed the top three, ahead of Sylvain Guintoli, Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, while Markus Reiterberger, Alex de Angelis, van der Mark and Chaz Davies completed the top ten, the latter continuing what has thus far been a tough weekend for the Ducati team.