Chaz Davies finished the day as he started at Imola, top of the timesheets on his Aruba Ducati ahead of Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea at the end of World Superbike second practice.
With just over 20 minutes of the session gone, Davies posted an impressive 1’47.014 that no-one could overhaul as he booked his place in Superpole 2 with plenty to spare.
The dominating performance of the Ducati Panigale beneath him will surely give the Welshman great confidence that he can get the race win tomorrow provided he performs in Superpole.
It was Rea who had begun the second session best, putting himself second overall in the early stages courtesy of a 1’47.525 lap as Davies – although he could not better his morning time at first – also sat in the 1’47s.
Sykes also improved from eighth into third in the opening minutes at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, as Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes crept into the top ten along with Althea BMW’s Markus Reiterberger.
Aside from that, there was little in the way of change at the sharp end in the first half of the session before Davies posted his unmatchable effort.
Reiterberger’s team-mate Jordi Torres was getting a taste for the action by then too, the Spaniard taking his BMW into fifth as Sylvain Guintoli placed eighth, bettering his morning time with a 1’48.386 but the Frenchman suffered a crash while on schedule to take top spot.
With 20 minutes remaining, the majority of riders had entered the pits apart from Guintoli and Sykes, and when everyone emerged five minutes later it looked as if the battle to make Superpole 2 was about to begin, but that never transpired.
Lowes, Michael Van Der Mark, Nicky Hayden, Josh Brookes, Xavi Fores, Alex DeAngelis and Karel Abraham were all in trouble of missing out at that stage and despite the challenge facing them none could land a blow, leaving an extremely volatile Superpole 1 list for tomorrow.
It was left down to the Althea BMW of Reiterberger to do the last piece of meaningful action as he improved into sixth and then fifth late on, as Davies sauntered through to the shootout on top.
The Kawasakis of Sykes and Rea followed Davies into Superpole 2, content with their work and joining them was Leon Camier – his morning time doing enough to book his spot.
Behind the fifth and sixth-placed Althea BMWs of Reiterberger and Torres, rounding out the top ten were Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori, Guintoli, the second Aruba Ducati of Davide Giugliano and Matteo Baiocco.