Tommy Hill heads into Superpole as a firm favourite for pole position after continuing to exert his dominance over ViSK.com British Superbike Championship proceedings in third free practice at Mallory Park.
Continuing to command a comfortable margin over the competition, Hill defied overcast and windy conditions to lower his best time once again to 56.251secs, two tenths faster than closest rival – and surprise package - Richard Cooper.
Building on his impressive outing during the opening day of free practice, the Superstock rider never dropped outside the top five throughout the 50 minute session before producing a lap time good enough to put him a remarkable second.
Making him the quickest of the Cup riders by far, the Co-ordit Yamaha rider was a tenth faster than the Motorpoint/Henderson R1 of Chris Walker, the multiple race winner putting in another top five showing this weekend.
Karl Harris and Simon Andrews completed the top five for Hydrex Honda and MSS Colchester Kawasaki, ahead of Josh Brookes and John Laverty on their HM Plant and Buildbase machines.
Meanwhile, James Ellison continued to be the lead representative for Airwaves Yamaha in eighth place, but his championship leading team-mate Leon Camier is continuing to struggle with technical difficulties. He was left down in 17th having completed only a handful of laps in the latter stages.
Gary Mason on the second of the best Cup machines was ninth fastest, with Graeme Gowland rounding out the top ten.
Superpole follows later today at 15.00