Leon Haslam flew the British flag on home ground during the opening day of action at Donington Park, the Stiggy Honda rider going provisionally second quickest.
One of seven home grown riders competing at this event, the status of top British rider is sought after this weekend and it was Haslam taking the early initiative by proving competitive through the day.
Setting the third fastest time in free practice, Derbyshire rider Haslam went one better in provisional qualifying to finish as Michel Fabrizio's closest competition.
Pleased to have also completed a few laps in wet weather conditions, Haslam has high hopes about his chances in final qualification.
“I am pretty happy with my qualifying results today. It started off wet which was good to get a couple of wet laps in. It wasn't a full wet session so we didn't quite get the wet set-up sorted yet, but the dry set-up is good. We were doing well on an old tyre and able to go into the top three.
“Then we put a new tyre in towards the end and put the bike at second position. I am feeling really confident with what we have achieved so far. We still have a bit more to go and we'll have to concentrate on doing some race runs tomorrow."