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Parkes ends Phillip Island test on top
21 February 2012
Broc Parkes, Kenan Sofuoglu, Fabien Foret and Sam Lowes have established themselves as the early front runners for the 2012 World Supersport Championship title after locking out the top four positions in three of the four test sessions at Phillip Island.
The first time this season that the 2012 contenders have tested as a group, Parkes, Foret and Lowes would all enjoy stints at the top of the timesheets at some stage, though it was Parkes on the Ten Kate Honda that would emerge quickest with a lap of 1min 34.585secs.
The Australian, who enters his eighth season of WSS racing this year, was just three hundredths faster than Kenan Sofuoglu, the Turk failing to top a session but never slipping outside the top four as he adjusted to the factory-supported DeltaFin Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Foret, riding the privateer Intermoto Step Kawasaki, was third quickest, while Bogdanka PTR's Lowes assumed the fourth spot after losing time with a crash during the final session of the test.
Getting to within two tenths of his PTR stablemate, ex-Moto2 rider Jules Cluzel can also count himself as a contender as he maintained an impressive top five presence to the end of his first test aboard the Honda CBR600RR.
Despite missing much of the final session with technical issues, Vittorio Iannuzzo ended the test a fine sixth on the little-fancied Power Team Suriano Triumph, ahead of South African duo Sheridan Morais and Ronan Quarmby on their respective Kawasaki and Honda machines.
Hungarian racer Balazs Nemeth held firm in the top ten for ninth, while Pawel Szkopek was one of the test's big improvers as he lifted himself to tenth in the final session.
Another Moto2 convert, Alex Baldolini was 11th on the second Suriano Triumph, ahead of Mathew Scholtz, Vladimir Leonov, Imre Toth and Lukas Pesek, while British racer Martin Jessopp concluded his first WSS test in 21st position.
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