Bradley Smith held off local star and Aspar Aprilia team-mate Julian Simon to lead Friday free practice for the 125cc Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
The Englishman, who finished last Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix in tenth despite blood pouring out of a neck wound sustained in a near highside, made frequent appearances at the head of the timesheets - alternating the top spot with Simon and title leader Andrea Iannone.
Smith eventually got the better of Simon by 0.304sec with 30 seconds remaining while Iannone, winner of the first two rounds of the season for the Ongetta Aprilia outfit, fell at the close of the 40-minute session.
Sandro Cortese was fourth for Ajo Derbi, but 1.231sec behind Smith.
Qualifying takes place on Saturday.
The Jerez circuit has been completely resurfaced since last year's race.
Friday practice - Jerez:
1. Smith (Aprilia) 1min 47.385sec
2. Simon (Aprilia) +0.304sec
3. Iannone (Aprilia) +0.666sec
4. Cortese (Derbi) +1.231sec
5. Gadea (Aprilia) +1.337sec
6. Rabat (Aprilia) +1.683sec
7. Redding (Aprilia) +1.745sec
8. Olive (Derbi) +1.788sec
9. Bradl (Aprilia) +1.844sec
10. Webb (Aprilia) +1.936sec
30. Hoyle (Haojue) +7.935sec