Jonathan Rea led Eugene Laverty in a Northern Irish one-two in the second qualifying session at a cold and grey Portimão for Round six of the World Superbike championship.
Rea spent the first 25 minutes of the session making small adjustments before another late surge sent him to the top of the timesheets. His time of 1.42.645 bettered Max Biaggi's official lap record from 2010, snatching the front position from Laverty by nine hundredths of a second.
Riders were on track early, no doubt worried by the early threat of rain. Guintoli, Melandri, and Sykes all improved early on, making the most of machine improvements in the first ten minutes of the session.
They remained in those positions but Sykes' efforts were scuppered by a technical problem mid way through the session. He finished fifth, less than half a second from the fastest time.
Leon Camier was the biggest improver as he jumped up to sixth at the death, and was closely followed by Davide Giugliano.
Michel Fabrizio made up for lost time by finishing in eighth. Machine troubles left the Roman stranded throughout Friday's first qualifying session. Chaz Davies and Loris Baz rounded out the top ten.
The strong winds that hampered yesterday's qualifying session abated, and allowed the first eighteen riders to improve times from Q1.
The top nine riders were separated by less than a second. Badovini, Checa, Haslam, Cluzel and Neukirchner completed the top fifteen to make it into Saturday afternoon's Superpole session.
By Neil Morrison