Pata Honda rider dominates WSS Free Practice
It may have been an eight week break for the World Supersport competitors - WSS did not compete at Laguna Seca- but the 26 riders contesting the Spanish round in Jerez this weekend were soon up to speed.
Fresh from winning the Suzuka 8 Hour race for the second consecutive year, champion elect Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) dominated the on track action ending the day comfortably ahead of his rivals.
Such was the pace of the Dutchman, the second placed rider on the overall classification – Kenan Sofuoglu (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) was 0.527s behind.
Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) was 3rd ahead of Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres), Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress) who rounded out the top six.
Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) was 7th, with Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) the first of the riders to improve finishing 8th on the combined timing sheet. The Frenchman knows that he needs to score 4 more points the Van Der Mark to keep his title hopes for 2014 alive.
Roberto Rolfo (Go Eleven Kawasaki) was the only other rider in the top ten to improve in the warmer afternoon session.
Vladamir Leonov joined forces with Rivamoto, the Russian rider ending day one 18th overall on his debut with the team whilst former European Junior Cup champion Matt Davies from Australia returned to WSS competition with Aark Racing. The former full time WSS rider was classified 25th.