Jakub Smrz has taken provisional pole position for the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship at Assen.

The Czech rider moved to the top of the timesheets with around five minutes remaining, before a red flag period, prompted by a technical issue for Jonathan Rea, gave his rivals little chance respond when the session restarted.

The scene of his first WSBK podium a year ago, Smrz would end up three tenths faster than practice pace setter Rea on his privateer Ducati.

Rea looked on course to make it a clean sweep until Smrz moved ahead of him, the Northern Irishman's progress being curtailed by mechanical woes on his Ten Kate Honda when he attempted to strike back.

A similar leaderboard to that of free practice, Troy Corser was again up there on the BMW, while Leon Haslam and Cal Crutchlow followed in fourth and fifth, although the latter did blot his copybook with two falls during the session.

Althea Ducati duo Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne were sixth and eighth fastest, the pair sandwiching Leon Camier, who made the biggest gains between sessions to leap from 17th to seventh.

Michel Fabrizio and James Toseland completed the top ten, with Tom Sykes making steady progress on the Kawasaki in 12th place, just two tenths just behind.

Further back, Noriyuki Haga continued to struggle outside the top ten in 14th position, although he was two positions up on fellow title contender Max Biaggi in 16th.

Elsewhere, Chris Vermeulen and Broc Parkes, both returning from injury, were 20th and 22nd fastest.


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