Michel Fabrizio and Tom Sykes upstaged their title challenging team-mates by locking out the top two positions during provisional qualifying for the fifth round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza.

The pair, who showed well during free practice, came away from the hour-long session ahead of Noriyuki Haga and Ben Spies after impressive efforts around the high-speed Italian circuit.

Fabrizio led the way from the very beginning, the Italian's early lap time of 1min 45.877secs keeping him at the head of the field for almost the session's entirety before he eventually lowered it twice to an eventual 1min 45.447secs.

Mirroring the three tenth advantage he enjoyed in free practice, Fabrizio looked set to be joined at the front by team-mate Haga, only for Sykes to sneak ahead with his final lap of the session.

Haga maintained third to put a comfortable buffer between himself and Spies, who could only manage a small improvement in his lap time back in seventh position.

Between them, Jonathan Rea was another to leave it late as he leapt up into fourth position, ahead of Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama, the Suzuki pair proving consistently competitive throughout the session to claim the fifth and sixth quickest times.

After a quiet start this morning, local manufacturer Aprilia enjoyed a more prosperous afternoon with Max Biaggi, the home favourite going eighth, although Shinya Nakano didn't aid the recovery efforts of his collarbone break at Valencia by suffering a fall from his RSV-4.

Carlos Checa was ninth quickest, with Shane Byrne posting another top ten showing on the Sterilgarda Ducati. Over at Stiggy Honda, Leon Haslam was again 12th fastest, but while team-mate Jake Zemke knocked almost two seconds off his best time, he remained just outside the top twenty in 22nd.

Elsewhere, BMW put in a strong top ten showing initially through the session before fading to 14th and 15th, Ruben Xaus leading Troy Corser, while other expected front runners, Jakub Smrz and Regis Laconi were only 13th and 18th quickest.