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Jonathan Rea has had the honour of topping the first official World Superbike Championship practice session of the season at Phillip Island, even if damp conditions would consign most riders to the pit lane.

Having completed two days of extensive dry mileage earlier in the week, the moist and cool conditions that marked the first practice session of the race weekend was unsurprisingly met with minimal activity from teams and riders as they waited for the track to improve.

Indeed, more than half an hour would pass before anyone would venture onto circuit and by the time the chequered flag had dropped just nine riders would post a timed lap.

Leading the way was PATA Honda's Rea, albeit some seven seconds adrift of the pace set by Tom Sykes earlier in the week, while Sylvain Guintoli followed him in second and Glenn Allerton - a late deputy for the injured Sylvain Barrier at BMW Italia - in third.

Those who remained in the pit lane included both factory Kawasaki riders, as well as Marco Melandri, Alex Lowes and Chaz Davies.

FP2 gets underway at 4.30am GMT.