Michael Laverty, second in the MCE British Superbike Championship after the first showdown round at Cadwell Park, set the pace during wet first practice for this weekend's penultimate Silverstone round.
The Relentless Suzuki rider finished the opening BSB session on the new Arena circuit with a best lap time just 0.001sec in front of Riders Ducati's Michael Rutter, with HM Plant Honda's Josh Brookes in third.
Worx Suzuki's Tommy Hill, who leads Laverty by 16 points in the standings, was fourth fastest and just 0.286sec from Laverty on a circuit with a lap time of over two minutes! All four led the session in the closing stages.
Chris Walker was the top non-title fighter in fifth on the sorrymate.com Honda, but 0.846sec behind Hill.
The two other 2010 title fighters - former champion Ryuichi Kiyonari and Laverty's team-mate Alistair Seeley - started the weekend in sixth (+1.742sec) and ninth (2.517sec) respectively.