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Jordi Torres looked to have cured some of the front end woes that hampered his Friday at Jerez by topping World Superbike FP3 in Jerez.
The Spaniard was twice a crasher on Friday as a lack of feel with the front end of his Aprilia RSV4 RF had him scratching his head and pondering which set-up direction to take on Saturday.
But a spate of fast, late laps pushed Torres to the fore of free practice, his final time of 1m 41.405s good enough to better Tom Sykes' best effort by 0.029s.
Indeed it was a strong showing for the Aprilia pairing of Torres and team-mate Leon Haslam, who ended the session either side of Sykes in second.
Haslam was just a tenth slower than the Spaniard but fell at Dry Sack hairpin in the final moments when on course to take first position. Thankfully, the Englishman, whose plans for 2016 remain far from certain, walked away from the incident.
Sykes had made the early running in the session, as he instantly lapped faster than he did a day ago, eventually lowering his Friday time by over half a second.
Along with Torres at the head of the field, there were surprises in the form of Matteo Baiocco and Michele Pirro in fourth and fifth. The Italian pair led an all-Ducati provisional second row as Chaz Davies placed sixth.
As riders jostled for position inside the top ten before the cut-off for SP2 at the close of the session, a spate of late times saw championship leader Jonathan Rea fall down the top ten to sit ninth at the chequered flag.
Rea eventually placed behind Alex Lowes, who has looked impressive over a single lap throughout the weekend, and Niccolo Canepa, who sat as high as second overall with just three minutes of the 45 remaining.
Reigning world champion Sylvain Guintoli was made to sweat on his automatic progression to SP2 as late laps from Leandro Mercado and Michael van der Mark were unable to push him outside the top ten.
Therefore Mercado, the reigning FIM Superstock 1000 Cup champion and van der Mark will join David Salom (13th), Leon Camier (14th) and Randy de Puniet (15th), among others, in SP1 this afternoon.