Sam Lowes got his ninth round of the 2011 World Supersport Championship off to a good start as he easily paced a wet first free practice at the Nurburgring.

The Parkalgar Honda rider, who is still searching for his first win at WSS level, led for much of a session that remained wet throughout, though improvements in the conditions late on would see his final lap gap second place man David Salom by almost three seconds.

For reference, even Lowes's clear fastest lap time was some 17 seconds adrift of the lap record around the German circuit.

David Salom, who moved up to second in the overall standings after a career best run to second last time out at Silverstone, maintained the same position in FP1, ahead of Luca Scassa and Gino Rea, who will be looking to put the disappointment of his last corner crash in the UK behind him this weekend.

Pawel Szkopek was a surprise front runner on the Bogdanka PTR Honda in fifth as the weather shook things up a bit, ahead of Florian Marino, Alexander Lundh and James Ellison, who is readjusting to Supersport machinery having spent the last month concentrating on his British Superbike efforts.

Broc Parkes and Imre Toth rounded out the top ten on their respective Kawasaki and Honda machines, while comfortable championship leader Chaz Davies could only manage 17th after technical problems early on limited him to completing just five laps.