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Tom Sykes has headed the early running in a wet FP1 at Assen after pinching top spot from Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea late on.
In a session which saw the majority of the grid take tentative steps with a handful of fallers the times gradually improved with Sykes going quickest thanks to a late flyer with Rea making it a Kawasaki one-two ahead of the Crescent Pata Yamaha duo of Sylvain Guintoli in third and Alex Lowes in fourth.
Double winner last time out Chaz Davies completed the top five in the opening session in front of fellow Ducati rider Xavi Fores with Nicky Hayden in seventh.
The IodaRacing Aprilia squad got off to a solid start with Alex de Angelis taking eighth and Lorenzo Savadori in ninth as Davide Giugliano rounded out the top ten.
The fourth round of the 2016 season got underway in wet and slippery conditions at Assen which meant riders cautiously got up to speed, while Karel Abraham took a small early tumble. Local star Michael van der Mark, who claimed his maiden World Superbike rostrums at Assen 12 months ago, also suffered a fall losing grip with his rear at turn 10.
Due to the conditions the lap times slowly worked towards any representative times in the wet with Rea leading proceedings for the majority of the session until his team-mate Sykes beat him with a 1m 54.995 to pinch top spot.