Sam Lowes has given himself a confidence boost heading into this weekend's inaugural Russian round of the World Supersport Championship after pacing pre-event testing at the new Moscow Raceway.
Having begun the day with the second fastest time behind PTR counterpart Jules Cluzel in the morning, Lowes swapped positions with the Frenchman with a 1min 38.548secs lap to come away from the test with his name atop the timesheets.
Even so, while lap times were some two seconds faster than in the morning, the pair remained closely matched less than half a tenth apart from one another.
With Ten Kate Honda's Broc Parkes and Kawasai's Kenan Sofuoglu just two and four tenths further back in third and fourth, there is scope for a close battle between the series' leading protagonists this weekend.
Competing in the World Supersport Championship with backing from the consortium that has brought the series to Russia for the first time, local hero Vladimir Leonov suggested he could provide a good return on their investment this weekend as he set the fifth fastest time on the Yakhnich Yamaha, ahead of Sheridan Morais and Fabien Foret on their Kawasakis.
Roberto Tamburini and Gabor Talmacsi maintained their top ten pace in eighth and ninth, while former Moto2 rider Valentin Debise made big gains between the sessions to leap to tenth overall.
Elsewhere, British rider Dan Linfoot was a solid 15th on the MSD RN India Kawasai, ahead of 21st place team-mate Florian Marino, while Jed Metcher was 16th best for the local RivaMoto Yamaha team.
Of the newcomers competing this weekend, Superstock 600 graduate Michael Van der Mark was 20th quickest on the Ten Kate Honda, while Andrzej Chmielewski was 33rd best.