Carlos Checa assumed the advantage ahead of Superpole for the tenth round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship, while BMW would see Troy Corser and James Toseland miss out on the chance to progress.
A session that would see fairly minimal movement until the final minutes, Checa – who was second best to Max Biaggi after Q1 – leapt from fourth to first late on with the best lap of the weekend thus far, a 1min 55.030secs.
It was enough to put him four tenths up on second place man Eugene Laverty, the Yamaha rider finding good gains early on in the session, while Noriyuki Haga put in a fine improvement to leap from a provisional 13th to end up third.
Original pace setter Biaggi - who may have a broken bone in his foot after clipping some debris during Friday's action - slipped to fourth, ahead of the top Kawasaki of Tom Sykes, the Briton showing few ill-effects of his recent ankle injury to out-pace Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli.
Similarly, the returning Jonathan Rea remained a solid eighth, ahead of Leon Camier and Leon Haslam, the latter bringing some joy to BMW on an otherwise difficult start to the day.
Indeed, with the manufacturer keen to star on home soil, just two of their four entries will reappear in Superpole after both Corser and Toseland - who is starting his 200th WSBK race this weekend - were left 17th and 18th on the timesheets.
Corser and Toseland – who were both safe after Q1 – suffered when Mark Aitchison and Ayrton Badovini posted improvements that would lift them into the top sixteen, though the Australian was unlucky to miss out by just two hundredths with his final lap.
With only four riders eliminated after Q2, they will be joined on the fifth row by Roberto Rolfo and Makoto Tamada in 19th and 20th.