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Michael van der Mark has picked up where he left off from his race win in Malaysia as he set the World Supersport pace n first free practice around the Marco Simoncelli World Circuit at Misano.
The Dutchman, who is competing on Supersport machinery at Misano for the first time this weekend, was quickly up to speed as he headed the timesheets with 15mins of the session remaining, the series leader leading the way by just over a tenth from Kenan Sofuoglu.
Racing without assistance from Yakhnich Motorsport this weekend following the revelation that the Russian team has exited its partnership with the manufacturer, MV Agusta put that behind them to go third quickest with title challenger Jules Cluzel, while new signing – the experienced Massimo Roccoli – was a fine eighth quickest on his first outing aboard the F3.
A strong session for the series' leading contenders, Florian Marino was fourth best on the Intermoto Kawasaki, while Kev Coghlan rounded out the top five despite suffering a fall.
Raffaele de Rosa, Jack Kennedy and Ratthapark Wilairot were sixth, seventh and ninth respectively, the PTR Honda crowding Roccoli, while local favourite Lorenzo Zanetti completed the top ten despite his own get-off.
As well as changes at MV Agusta, this weekend sees Lorini Honda display an expanded and revised three rider line-up, following Riccardo Russo's move into WSBK with Pedercini Kawasaki, with Marco Bussolotti being joined by Luca Marconi and Ferruccio Lamborghini.
However, it was a disappointing start to the weekend for Lorini with both Lamborghini and Marconi crashing early on to bring out a red flag, while Bussolotti would crash towards the end of the session and was taken to the medical centre for checks.
Further changes this weekend include Valentin Debise rejoining SMS Com Plus Honda in place for the out-of-favour Fraser Rogers, while Alex Baldolini is riding the ATK MV Agusta.