After three WorldSBK free practice sessions Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) held off Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) from the top spot late in the third session, in tricky track conditions.
Third fastest was Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK) fourth and first Yamaha rider home. Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) was a fine fifth, 0.647 seconds behind Rea, and the second Aprilia rider inside the top five places.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK) overcame a crash to end up sixth.
Local knowledge paid off early for Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who was seventh on his privateer bike in only his second ride of the season back in WorldSBK.
A wide variety of machines up front were added to by the Gulf Althea BMW of Loris Baz, in eighth place.
An excellent ninth place was earned by local wild card Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki). Then top Ducati belonged to Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), in tenth place.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was one of several riders who fell or ran off track in tricky conditions for the third and final Friday qualifying sessions in FP3, finishing up 16th th fastest after he limped away. He will now have to qualify out of Superpole 1 on Saturday to be allowed to start in Superpole 2.
His crash early in the lap was replicated by Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team Ducati) at turn one, while Rea also ran on at the first corner, but did not fall.
By Gordon Ritchie