Leon Haslam heads into the second day of World Superbike action at Monza as the early man to beat after claiming the quickest time during first qualification.
Having seen his BMW team-mate Troy Corser go second fastest during FP1, Haslam seized the initiative during the early stages of Q1 as he quickly lowered Jonathan Rea's best lap from the morning within the first ten minutes.
Getting his best down to a 1min 43.424secs and holding the advantage heading into the final ten minutes, Haslam would find himself bumped down as Eugene Laverty and then Max Biaggi dipped beneath his benchmark.
Nonetheless, Haslam struck back with a 1min 42.934secs on his final lap to edge out Biaggi by a mere 19 thousandths of a second to end the opening day as the fastest man.
Biaggi was the only other man to get into the 1min 42secs bracket as he settled for second, helped along by an astonishing top speed of 332.5km/h achieved at one point in the session - the fastest speed ever achieved by a Superbike.
Eugene Laverty held onto third, ahead of Ayrton Badovini, the BMW Italia man maintaining his impressive free practice pace to stay well inside the top five.
FP1 pace setter Jonathan Rea was fifth fastest, ahead of Noriyuki Haga on the PATA Aprilia, Marco Melandri, Corser and Maxime Berger, the Supersonic Racing rider emerging as the best of the Ducati riders in ninth.
Leon Camier rounded out the top ten, though the luckless Briton had more woes when he suffered a technical issue before then crashing later in the session.
Further back, series leader Carlos Checa was a modest 14th, more than a second off the pace, while Kawasaki were outside the top ten again in 12th and 15th.
Elsewhere, Ruben Xaus suffered a fall from his Castrol Honda, while James Toseland made steady improvements to go 19th. Chris Vermeulen, who crashed in the morning and reportedly hurt his elbow, did not participate in the session.