Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes once again proved his pace over a single lap and led a British lock-out of Imola test timesheet with Jonathan Rea, Leon Camier and Leon Haslam occupying the leading four places.
Sykes was back to his qualifying form with a 1’46.609 set on a soft tyre while Rea improved on his weekend best to set a 1’47.121. Camier, likewise, was measurably faster than he had been in race trim while Haslam continued his upward trend on the BMW S1000RR.
Aprilia’s Max Biaggi looked likely to spoil the Brit-fest but crashed at Villeneuve, the same place where Rea went into orbit, on his last lap while Carlos Checa could only muster sixth place behind his title rival after electing not to test further because of Joan Lascorz’s crash.
Biaggi’s team-mate Eugene Laverty also looked like he may find some time in the final minutes, posting personal bests through all three sectors but lost in on the run to the line and stayed in eighth behind Marco Melandri . Davide Guigliano and Nico Canepa rounded out the top ten on their Ducatis.
Chaz Davies and John Hopkins sat out the afternoon session with Davies saying he needed to rest his hand, while Hopkins’ arm-pump made it too dangerous to continue.