Jakub Smrz completed a good start to the weekend for Ducati as he swept to the fastest lap time on the opening day of World Superbike action around Miller Motorsports Park.

Capitalising on the much improved track conditions, Smrz was a constant figure towards the head of the timesheets before cementing the top spot with less than three minutes on the clock remaining courtesy of a 1min 48.517secs effort around the Salt Lake City circuit.

Cal Crutchlow briefly held the top spot with just under ten minutes remaining, but he would eventually be edged by both Smrz and practice pace setter Michel Fabrizio by the end of the hour.

Having languished down in 15th position after practice, Leon Haslam catapulted up the leaderboard to set the fourth fastest time, comfortably ahead of key title rival Max Biaggi in tenth.

Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne were closely matched in fifth and sixth for Althea Ducati, while James Toseland scaled the order to seventh, even if he was forced to miss out the closing stages of the session when he fell from his Yamaha.

Luca Scassa, a former AMA Superbike rider, was eighth on the Supersonic Ducati, ahead of Troy Corser and Biaggi, while Jonathan Rea was 11th fastest and Noriyuki Haga was the lowest place Ducati rider this time in 12th.

Further back, Max Neukirchner slid down the timesheets from ninth to 16th, while Sylvain Guintoli continued his struggles on the Suzuki in 17th.