Sam Lowes's quest to make amends for missing out on World Supersport victory at Phillip Island with a win on home ground at Donington Park got off to a strong start as he dominated first free practice.
The Parkalgar Honda rider, who was just 0.033secs shy of winning in Australia, hit the ground running by topping the timesheets early on and gradually lowering his best over the 45min session.
At times commanding a one second advantage over the competition, while his margin would be reduced to six tenths in the latter stages, his eventual 1min 32.320secs would prove a convincing benchmark by the youngster.
Luca Scassa and Broc Parkes – the men that beat Lowes to first and second positions in the drag to the finish line at the opener – followed as the only other riders to get below 1min 33secs.
David Salom was fourth fastest, ahead of British riders James Ellison and Chaz Davies, while Robbin Harms – fresh from his top five finish in Australia – was seventh best on his eponymous Honda.
Massimo Roccoli hauled his Lorenzini Kawasaki into the top ten in eighth, ahead of former team-mate Gino Rea, who did well to get up to ninth having completed just nine laps. However, the Step Racing rider, who has admitted he will struggle with his thumb injury this weekend, did himself few favours with a tumble at the end of the session.
Another rider coping with injury this weekend, Fabien Foret, rounded out the top ten, just one thousandth up on Ten Kate Honda team-mate Florian Marino.
Meanwhile, wild-card Yamaha rider Jack Kennedy ended his first WSS practice session in 20th position.