Michael Rutter began his quest to secure a record-breaking seventh Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix win by claiming provisional pole position in first qualifying around the Guia street circuit.
The British Superbike race winner lapped in 2mins 28.156secs aboard the Discover Ireland NW200 Ducati to prove a comfortable six tenths quicker than Isle of Man TT lap record holder John McGuinness.
McGuinness, riding a Ventaxia Honda, edged out Steve Allan, the Scot moving up to Superbikes this year after dominating the Supersport class for the last three seasons. He was third best on the Aviva Kawasaki.
Cameron Donald was fourth quickest on the Relentless Suzuki, while BSB rider Stuart Easton was a strong fifth riding a Doosan Honda. Elsewhere, Portuguese racer Luis Carreira, last seen riding in the World Superbike finale at Portimao, was sixth quickest on the Benimoto Suzuki Yoshimura.
Conor Cummins (AIM Racing), Thomas Hinterreiter (Yart), Ian Hutchinson (Aviva Kawasaki) and Jeremy Toye (Corona Honda) completed the top ten positions of a 33-strong field.
In the Supersport class, Rico Penzkofer (IGT-Yamaha Austria Racing Team) was quickest in 15th position overall, ahead of Keith Amor's AIM Yamaha and Gerald Muteau's Halfen Triumph.
Guy Martin, meanwhile, has been ruled out of the Macau Grand Prix for the second year in succession after crashing heavily in free practice around the Guia circuit.
The Bike Animal Honda rider came off his bike on his first lap out, the subsequent impact knocking him unconscious and resulting in a trip to hospital.
Although his main sponsor claims Martin has not suffered 'serious injuries', FIM rules state that any rider knocked unconscious in an impact cannot race for another seven days, thus ruling him out of any involvement for the remainder of the weekend.