Lorenzo Savadori swept to the top of the timesheets in second free practice for the Malaysian round of the World Superbike Championship at Sepang, but Tom Sykes will be forced to battle for pole position via Superpole 1 after missing the top ten cut.
A venue that has been kind to the Aprilia RSV4 package in the past, though the Ioda Racing bike does without factory backing this year, it nonetheless proved itself to be a formidable package in the hands of rookie Italian Savadori as he hit the front in FP2 with a 2m 03.951s lap.
It was enough to place him two tenths clear of Nicky Hayden on the Honda, with Markus Reiterberger making it an all-rookie top three in third position on the Althea BMW.
Davide Giugliano ended the day as the top Ducati rider in fourth position, ahead of Jordi Torres on the second of the Althea BMWs, Michael van der Mark and Chaz Davies.
The surprise package of FP2 would be Anthony West, the former MotoGP rider a fine ninth quickest on the satellite Pedercini Kawasaki. Indeed, the Australian's efforts were made all the more impressive as it placed him ahead of both official Kawasakis, in turn causing headaches for the factory duo.
Indeed, it would take a late improvement from championship leader Jonathan Rea for him to squeeze into tenth – thus assuring him of a spot in SP2 -, but in doing so demote his team-mate Tom Sykes to 11th.
As such, the former champion will need to come through SP1 to have any chance of challenging for pole position, Sykes being joined by Savadori's team-mate Alex de Angelis, Xavi Fores and Leon Camier.