Glenn van Straalen was seventh quickest on the opening day of action in Indonesia, with title contenders Lorenzo Baldassarri and Dominique Aegerter split by less than a tenth of a second, finishing the two free practice sessions in eighth and ninth places respectively.
FIM Supersport World Championship track action got underway, and the riders were eager to get a look at the freshly re-surfaced Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit. Baking temperatures and dusty surfaces provided an early challenge, but as the session developed the lap times quickly tumbled and it was Simon Jespersen who set the pace for Yamaha, finishing the session in second with a 1:42.307, with Peter Sebestyen and Jules Cluzel inside the top ten.
Temperatures continued to rise ahead of Friday’s second free practice session, and after a troublesome morning for the title contenders, despite Aegerter leading the early stages of practice one, both the championship leader and Baldassarri hoped for a stronger afternoon.
With more rubber on the track, the focus quickly turned to the two races on Saturday and Sunday. Approaching the mid-way point, lap times tumbled as riders found their rhythm before a flurry of personal best laps concluded the day.
A late charge for van Straalen, Baldassarri and Aegerter saw them jump up inside the top ten, obliterating their times from Friday morning, with all three riders in the 1’38 bracket.
GMT94 Yamaha’s Andy Verdoia narrowly missed out on a top-ten finish with Jespersen, Cluzel and Sebestyen close behind.
A strong showing from the returning Unai Orradre ended in 16th on the combined timesheets. The bLUcRU graduate flew to 12th in practice one and reduced his lap time by four seconds in the afternoon.
Marcel Brenner, Ondrej Vostatek and the returning Leonardo Taccini rounded out the field.
The FIM Supersport World Championship will return to action on Saturday morning for the penultimate Superpole of the season before Dominique Aegerter has his first chance to retain his crown in race one at 12:00 local time.