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Double race winner at Laguna Seca 12 months ago Chaz Davies has ended Friday practice on top by edging ahead of Jonathan Rea as less than half a second separates the top eight on the timesheet.

Having led the majority of FP1 only to be pipped by Alex Lowes at the chequered flag, Davies ensured himself the fastest time with a short final blast having demonstrated impressive pace on longer stints in the afternoon session.

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After being pushed to second by Rea's 1m 23.696s, the Aruba.it Ducati rider regained to spot by just 0.074s - while remaining 1.5s off of his 2015 pole position time which could point towards performance being saved for qualifying.

With Rea in second local star Nicky Hayden made strong late gains to jump to third, a quarter of a second off Davies, and ahead of Tom Sykes and Alex Lowes with the Pata Yamaha rider failing to better his top FP1 time due to a fall midway through the second session.

Davide Giugliano claimed sixth ahead of Jordi Torres and Lorenzo Savadori who may feel aggrieved being inside half a second of the top time but only eighth fastest overall.

Xavi Fores and Sylvain Guintoli's stand-in Niccolo Canepa sneaked into the top ten spots which guarantees automatic entry in to Superpole two, which left Honda's Michael van der Mark to miss out by just 0.007s.

Having missed the entire FP1 session, Camier on the MV Agusta made up for lost time by rising to 13th overall just behind Alex de Angelis.

In beautiful California sunshine Davies immediately reclaimed the top spot from Lowes in the opening FP2 sprints as Sykes cut through the top ten into second having rediscovered some lost pace.

Elsewhere, Camier finally got out of the garage after a technical problem on his MV Agusta as he looked to make up for lost time having missed out on over half of Friday practice.

As the longer stints commenced the World Superbike championship's top three all looked to have remarkably strong but closely matched lap times, with Davies narrowly edging Sykes and Rea.

20 minutes into the afternoon session Lowes on the Pata Yamaha suffered a small tumble at turn three which prematurely ended his day.

Rea briefly displaced Davies at the top but with a little over five minutes remaining the Welsh rider charged ahead with a 1m 23.622s which proved to be the best time on Friday setting up an intriguing battle at the iconic Laguna Seca circuit.