Back inside the top ten, last year's shock pole sitter Alex Lowes was another WFR Honda rider inside the top ten in eighth, ahead of Brands Hatch
race winner Jon Kirkham and Patric Muff, the Swiss racer making a welcome SP3 debut on the improving Supersonic BMW.
His surprise inclusion inside the top ten came at the expense of other better fancied runners, including Michael Laverty, who was again out paced by his Samsung Honda team-mate on the way to a fairly mediocre 13th, and Noriyuki Haga, who was dumped out of SP2 in 16th only minutes after finishing the damp SP1 session with the second quickest lap time.
There was also disappointment for the Rapid Solicitors PBM Kawasaki team as Shane Byrne, a race winner at Thruxton
in 2011, could only manage 15th, while team-mate Stuart Easton was a casualty in the first knockout session in 21st.