He was being chased down by Leon Haslam on the Airwaves Ducati who has admitted that this weekend will be a tough battle against the speed of the Hondas. Running in third place was Rea's team-mate and Championship leader Ryuichi Kiyonari. All off the top three were under the lap record.
Tom Sykes on the Stobart Honda who has been very consistent this season worked his way to fourth place. He hasn't made it onto the podium yet but it is simply a matter of time and he feels it will come soon.
Gregorio Lavilla was running in fifth place and has been concentrating on honing his set-up for this race weekend; he has admitted Knockhill isn't his favourite circuit as it is quite slow and he had a tough time here last year.
Leon Camier was the second of the Superbike rookies home behind Sykes, he was running in sixth place on the Bike Animal Honda. Shane Byrne, team-mate to Sykes was in seventh place ahead of the first of the Rizla Suzukis with Cal Crutchlow on board.
Virgin Media Optoma Loans Yamaha rider Tommy Hill was in ninth place with Chris Walker in tenth place.
Stuart Easton who is deputising for the injured Michael Rutter was in an impressive twelfth place. Dean Thomas who crashed yesterday has injured his ribs and is therefore being replaced by his Superstock riding team-mate, Sean Emmett who was fourteenth fastest first time out on the Samsung Suzuki.
BSB free practice results (3) – Knockhill:
1. Jonathan Rea
2. Leon Haslam
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari
4. Tom Sykes
5. Gregorio Lavilla
6. Leon Camier
7. Shane Byrne
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Tommy Hill
10. Chris Walker