Davide Giugliano has earmarked himself as a favourite heading into Superpole for the third round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship after producing a superb lap in second free practice at Assen.

Another measure of Ducati's progress in recent weeks, Giugliano turned in a lap of 1min 35.296secs to prove half a second quicker than his closest rival Jonathan Rea.

The first time since Nurburgring 2012 that a Ducati rider has been quickest at the end of a Friday practice day, despite ending his session in the gravel trap with a tumble at the final bend, Giugliano was delighted with his margin on a circuit that is notorious for its close competition.

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"The warmer track temperature this afternoon helped us to pick up the pace but it was mainly down to the work we put in throughout the day. We've worked a lot on my bike, carrying out a general check this morning before testing a few electronic updates that Ducati has provided us with this weekend.

"The bike is working really well and I'm really pleased with the progress we've made today, except for the small crash that is - I was pushing too hard going into the chicane but luckily I didn't hurt myself."

Ducati team-mate Chaz Davies, meanwhile, completed Ducati's impressive day with progress to fifth place, the Welshman insisting there is progress to comme.

"Today hasn't been too bad. We improved the bike quite a lot this afternoon but we still have a lot to do tomorrow. The bike seems to be lacking stability through the fast sections and so we need to work on that, continuing to make the kind of progress we made today again tomorrow. The chances are it'll rain at some point tomorrow so we may well have to start over and work out which direction to take with a wet set-up."