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Sylvain Barrier's peerless start to the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup continued into the second round at Assen as he headed up first free practice by more than two seconds.

The reigning champion, who topped every timed session before romping to victory in the Motorland Aragon season opener, hit the front of the Assen timesheets late on to displace Christoffer Bergman by a huge 2.2secs.

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Though the margin can be explained to some degree by the cold and damp conditions that has blighted all morning sessions at Assen so far, rivals will no doubt still see Barrier's early dominance as somewhat ominous.

Indeed, behind the Frenchman things were certainly closer, with Jeremy Guarnoni leading a trio of Frenchmen in Matthieu Lussiana and Romain Lanusse to round out the top five, ahead of Italians Eddi La Marra, Alessandro Andreozzi and Niccolo Canepa.

Wild-card rider Nigel Walraven was ninth fastest on the Hoegee Suzuki, while Mitchell Pirotta rounded out the top ten.