Jakub Smrz will head into Superpole clutching the fastest time of the weekend thus far after topping second qualifying at Kyalami, South Africa.
The Czech rider leapt from a provisional position of seventh to undercut Michel Fabrizio's previous benchmark by two tenths of a second, although Smrz would prove to be the only significant mover inside the top ten.
Indeed, second and third place Fabrizio and Cal Crutchlow would not improve their lap times over the session, the latter being hampered by a technical issue on his Yamaha.
Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam completed the top five, ahead of Carlos Checa, Troy Corser
and Max Biaggi, while Leon Camier and Sylvain Guintoli made significant leaps to go ninth and tenth fastest on their respective Aprilia and Suzuki machines.
Shane Byrne and Luca Scassa slipped out of the top ten, although they would still end up faster than Noriyuki Haga, the Japanese rider improving his time but not his position in 13th.
Further back, Sheridan Morais continued to chip away at his lap times to improve to 14th, although James Toseland slipped back to 17th.
With 22 riders competing this weekend, only two riders will be missing from Superpole, with both Pedercini Kawasaki's Roger Lee Hayden and Matteo Baiocco losing out. As such, Broc Parkes makes it through to the deciding qualifying session for the first time this season with Echo CRS Honda.