Ben Spies continued to slash the odds on him proving a title contender in his rookie World Superbike season as he eased to the second quickest time on the first day of testing around Kyalami.

Having made a fine impression on his debut at Portimao last month, Spies continued where he left off in South Africa, despite having never experienced the circuit before.

Getting more miles aboard the Yamaha Italia machine under his belt, Spies completed 46 laps over the course of the day on the way to a best time of 1min 41.599secs, around three tenths adrift of pace setter Michel Fabrizio.

With two days of testing remaining, the multiple AMA Champion has already given the bike his approval.

"We were most interested in trying out the bike in hotter track conditions than in Portimao. The handling is good; the engine comes in really smooth exiting corners and it lays the power down well. Top end makes no difference in that situation and the engine really drives well from low down.

"I like this track; it's almost like some AMA tracks and it's not too technical, not that difficult to learn, but I was having a lot of fun riding on it."