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Three-time World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu has gotten his quest for a fourth title off to a perfect start with a commanding performance on the first day of action at Phillip Island.

Having dominated pre-season testing by a comfortable margin earlier in the week, Sofuoglu - who, like most riders, sat out the damp FP1 session - was straight up to speed in the afternoon, his early lap time of 1min 33.618secs proving unmatched all the way to the chequered flag.

Only a tenth shy of his benchmark from earlier in the week, not only was Sofuoglu the only rider to break the 1min 34secs marker, but he did so on six occasions too before a technical issue brought his session to an early conclusion.

As such, he commanded a sizeable sixth tenth lead back to Kev Coghlan on the DMC Panavto Yamaha, the Scottish rider showing well early on as he continues to adapt to the YZF-R6.

Amongst those to make a strong late improvement, eleventh-hour Core PTR Honda signing Raffaele de Rosa was third fastest, heading off Michael van der Mark on the PATA-prepared CBR600RR, the Dutchman holding onto fourth best despite a crash.

Seemingly over the technical woes that hampered him during testing, series returnee Jules Cluzel was an encouraging fifth fastest on the Yakhnich MV Agusta, ahead of PJ Jacobsen, who was another to suffer a crash, and fellow WSS rookie Ratthapark Wilairot.

Florian Marino, Roberto Tamburini and Fabio Menghi rounded out the top ten, the latter - along with Kevin Wahr and Bryan Staring - also amongst those to take a tumble in the session.