The British rider will head into tomorrow’s FP3 with a gap of 0.359s over Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) as the top 9 riders were separated by a second.
In 3rd place was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) one of many who were unable to improve this afternoon in the much hotter conditions.
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) finished 4th ahead of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Nico Terol (Althea Racing) who was 6th.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) the reigning WSS champion jumped up to 7th.
Sylvain Barrier fell at turn 11 at the half way point of FP3, the Frenchman still fast enough to claim 13th.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) was 12th, the Frenchman who improved throughout the final 45 minutes was lucky not to crash after saving what would have been a huge highside.
Troy Bayliss (Aruba SBK Team) found himself in 18th after his first 90 minutes of competitive WorldSBK action since 2008.
After FP3 in the morning, 20 riders will progress into the Tissot-Superpole sessions with 10 places on offer for the fastest ten riders after the times from FP1, FP2 and FP3 are combined.