CLICK HERE for WSS free practice (1) results from Phillip Island.

Kenan Sofuoglu began his World Supersport title defence on the front foot by leading the standings in the first free practice session of 2016 as British teenage Kyle Ryde impressed onlookers by posting the fifth fastest time.

Quickest from the early minutes of the hour-long FP1 practice, Sofuoglu established a commanding advantage over the field before old rival Jules Cluzel set about slashing at his lead.

At the close of Friday morning, the reinging world champion's advantage stood at 0.213s after his fastest time of 1m 33.664s was narrowly faster than team-mate Randy Krummenacher's quickest lap of the two-day preseason test.

Cluzel's only lap in the 1m 33s was good enough for second and pushed new Puccetti Kawasaki runner Krummenacher back to third, 0.354s off his team-mate.

Ensuring two MV Agusta F3s joined the Kawasaki pairing inside the top four, Lorenzo Zanetti was fourth fastest, a place ahead of the exceptionally impressive Ryde. The young Englishman, making his full-time debut in the class, lapped the 2.7-mile circuit for the first time on Monday, and has regularly shown a quick turn of pace.

Ryde headed the evergreen Alex Baldolini in sixth, who at one point held Sofuoglu up through the downhill turn ten before tucking into the ZX-6R's slipstream and setting his fastest time on the next lap.

FP1 was eventful for American hopeful PJ Jacobsen. Running under the offical mantel of the Honda World Supersport team in 2015, the New York resident was one of five riders to run off track at turn four. Frequently seen sliding the rear of his CBR600RR, Jacobsen was seventh.

Kevin Wahr was eighth fastest with Kyle Smith, so nearly a podium finisher here in 2015, ninth. At the close of a trying week for Gino Rea, the Englishman's fortunes didn't improve on Friday as he suffered a technical problem ten minutes from the end of the session. He ended FP1 21st.

 

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