Yakhnich Yamaha’s Sam Lowes dominated the World Supersport opening free practice session this morning at Imola, setting a time of 1’51.939 which was a second faster than the rest of the pack and even after a last second charge from Pata Honda’s Lorenzo Zanetti it was not enough to topple Lowes from the top of the time-sheets.
Zanetti’s final 1’52.874 lap was enough to place him second fastest overall, pushing fellow Italian rider Kawasaki Intermoto’s Luca Scassa down to third.
DMC-Lorenzini rider Kev Coghlan had a solid time out on the Italian track. For most of the 45 minute session the Scot was hovering around the top ten clocking consistent laps in the 1’54’s, but with five minutes remaining Coghlan stormed his way up to third quickest with a 1’53.215. The Perthshire rider was not able to improve on his time and had to contend with ending the session in fourth. But Coghlan narrowly missed out on finishing in the top three fastest times as Scassa was only one thousands of a second quicker than the Brit, with the Italian clocking a 1.53.214 lap.
Coghlan was faster than reigning champ MAHI Racing’s Kenan Sofuoglu who attempted to make a last lap dash when he left the pits with less than a minute remaining, but it was too little too late for the Turkish rider as he failed to make it out on the track in time to improve on his 1’53.342 lap. Sofuoglu did make it to the top of the time-sheets during the session, with less than thirty minutes left, but Lowes proved too strong this morning and the rider had to settle for fifth fastest.
Rivamoto’s Jack Kennedy ended the session with the eighth quickest lap with a 1’53.555 time, with Lowes’ team-mate Vladimir Leonov and Evan Bros rider Marco Faccani rounding off the top ten.
MCE British Superbike rider Tommy Bridewell made an appearance in the Supersport free practice session riding a Honda CBR600RR for the Lorini team. The Devizes lad finished the session 22nd fastest with a 1’54.956 lap, with fellow Brit ParkinGO MV’s Christian Iddon not far behind, ending the session in 26th with a 1’55.368 lap.
The opening free practice session was red flagged with 35 minutes remaining, after Pata Honda’s Michael Van der Mark crashed at Variante Bassa, but the rider was unhurt and did manage to make it back out on track for the final minutes of the session and ended the morning eleventh fastest.