Ex-World Superbike star Jakub Smrz produced a dream moment for the Splitlath Redmond Aprilia team as he blasted to the top of the times during the final free practice session at Assen this morning.
Smrz left it late before a fast lap in 1m 38.631s relegated Shane Byrne on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki to second with fellow title contender Josh Brookes third fastest on the Tyco Suzuki.
It was a stunning effort by Smrz, who is making his debut for the team at Assen.
Brookes suffered a minor spill in the damp after the session began wet before conditions improved towards the end as only a few tenths separated the leading trio.
Swan Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga, who – like Byrne – is carrying a shoulder injury, was fourth fastest with a lap in 1m 39.258s ahead of team-mate and championship leader Tommy Hill.
WFR Honda's Alex Lowes, who set the fastest lap during FP2 yesterday afternoon, was next with Patric Muff and Barry Burrell completing the top eight.
Luca Scassa on the Padgetts Honda and title fighter Tommy Bridewell rounded out the first ten.
Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty slipped down the order to 18th place, one place ahead of MSS Bathams Kawasaki man Michael Rutter, while Brookes' Tyco Suzuki team-mate, Alastair Seeley, was 20th.
The injured Danny Buchan, who missed FP1 yesterday, was 13th and Stuart Easton on the second Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki 22nd.CLICK HERE
to view FP3 times