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Sam Lowes dominated the first World Supersport practice session for the seventh round at Imola after easily posting the fastest time. The Yakhnich Motorsport rider finished the session over nine tenths of a second faster than local rider Lorenzo Zanetti in tricky conditions.

The session started under grey skies and riders had to contend with damp patches around the breezy circuit.
However Lowes quickly set about asserting his dominance, consistently circulating over a second faster than his nearest rivals. His best time of 1 minute 51.9 was only half a second off his pole position time from 2012.

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A late lap from Lorenzo Zanetti placed him in second, ahead of fellow Italian Luca Scassa in third. The gap between first and second position was over 1.2 seconds for the majority of the session, as Lowes once again seemed willing to push to the limits while others exercised caution.

Kev Coghlan finished an encouraging fourth ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu and an impressive ride from PTR Honda's Luca Marconi placed him sixth.

Jack Kennedy's first appearance at the circuit ended positively in eighth, just behind Andrea Antonelli.

Italian wild card Marco Faccani put his local experience to the test and was tenth just ahead of Michael van der Mark who recovered from an early crash to finish eleventh.

Despite Lowes' advantage at the front, the remaining results were incredibly close with just one second separating Scassa in third and Fabrizio Lai in 16th.

The session was red flagged after ten minutes when PTR Honda's Matt Davies crashed at turn five. The Australian was reported to be ok. Florian Marino, making his return to the class after missing the Portuguese round, finished 23rd after an early crash at Rivazza.