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The final round of the 2012 World Supersport Championship has gotten underway with Sam Lowes going quickest in first free practice in France, the Briton emerging on top at a drying Magny-Cours.
With wet conditions greeting the riders as they ventured onto circuit initially, lap times would tumble as the surface eventually dried, though Lowes's benchmark effort of 1min 46.727secs would still prove some five seconds down on the existing lap record.
Nonetheless, despite completing only seven laps, Lowes was a comfortable four tenths up on newly crowned champion Kenan Sofuoglu and seven tenths quicker than Jules Cluzel, the Frenchman returning to his home circuit having also been assured of the runners-up spot.
Broc Parkes kicked off his final event for Ten Kate Honda in fourth position, ahead of Gabor Talmacsi on the privateer ProRace Honda and local rider Romain Lanusse on the Intermoto Step Kawasaki.
With almost three seconds covering first down to tenth place, Suriano Triumph's Alex Baldolini, Lorenzini Kawasaki's Sheridan Morais, PATA by Martini Yamaha's Massimo Roccoli and Bike Service Yamaha's Andrea Antonelli completed the top ten.