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Sam Lowes will take a small advantage into Q2 at Portimao after setting the pace in provisional qualifying, ahead of PTR stablemate Jules Cluzel.

His sixth provisional pole position of the season, Lowes set himself up nicely for a run at the actual pole position with a lap time of 1min 46.080secs, which was achieved in the final portion of the Q1 session.

The fastest lap of the weekend thus far, Bogdanka-backed Lowes was a comfortable three tenths faster than morning pace setter Jules Cluzel on the regular PTR Honda.

Fabien Foret and Broc Parkes held station from FP1 to round out the provisional front row, ahead of Florian Marino, who continued his impressive form on the MSD RN Kawasaki to go fifth fastest.

In fact, it was a strong session all-round for the Indian-funded team, which only made its series debut at Brno, as Dan Linfoot followed Marino up in seventh position, even if the British rider did lose time with a brief tumble.

Championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu split the team-mates in sixth place, while Massimo Roccoli, Sheridan Morais and Vittorio Iannuzzo completed the top ten.