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Sylvain Barrier has sent an ominous warning to his rivals in the first free practice session of the season for the 2013 FIM Superstock Cup by breaking the Motorland Aragon lap record and going more than a second faster than his nearest rivals

The Frenchman, who is bidding to become the first rider since James Ellison to successfully defend his Superstock 1000 crown, was never headed throughout the session as he worked his best time down to an eventual 2mins 01.075secs - already just beneath Danilo Petrucci's lap record from 2011.

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It was also enough to put him a remarkable 1.3secs up on second place man Leandro Mercado, the Argentinian himself a comfortable four tenths ahead of third place Pedercini Kawasaki team-mate Lorenzo Savadori.

Top Ducati rider Eddi La Marra was fifth fastest on the Barni Panigale, ahead of Barrier's new team-mate and top rookie Greg Gildenhuys.

Former Superbike rider Niccolo Canepa was sixth fastest, ahead of Jeremy Guarnoni, Alessandro Andreozzi, local wild-card Enrique Ferrer and ex-Supersport racer Romain Lanusse.