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On the weekend he can potentially wrap up the 2013 World Supersport Championship two rounds early, Sam Lowes got his title endeavour off to a strong start in Turkey with a strong showing in first free practice.

The series' first visit to the Istanbul Park Circuit, an extended 90 minute FP1 session was held for riders to get acquainted with the former F1 and MotoGP venue, with lap times gradually coming down throughout the session.

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However, despite it being new territory for almost every rider, it was still the same 'suspects' heading up the timesheets for much of the session, with Lowes and title-rivalling local hero Kenan Sofuoglu swapping the top spot repeatedly.

In the end, a flurry of fast laps from other riders would shake up the order late on, though Lowes was still able to ascend to the top with a 2min 00.455secs lap, some seven tenths quicker than second place rider Lorenzo Zanetti on the PATA Honda.

With Sofuoglu slipping to sixth on the timesheets, Florian Marino proved the fastest of the Kawasaki contingent in third position, ahead of Honda riders Roberto Tamburini and Michael van der Mark.

Former WSS runner-up David Salom was seventh best on his Intermoto Kawasaki, with Nurburgring podium winner Kev Coghlan, MV Agusta's Roberto Rolfo and Yakhnich Yamaha's Vladimir Leonov rounding out the top ten.

Elsewhere, the novelty of a new venue would see some riders pushing the limits of the circuit, with Leonov, Christian Iddon, newcomer David McFadden, Zanetti, Lowes and Sofuoglu all experiencing off-track moments over the course of the session, mostly at the tricky turn one left-hander.

There were also crashes for Jack Kennedy, local wild-card Mert Aytug and Damian Cudlin, the former GP rider making his WSS debut this weekend with PTR Honda.