Marco Melandri moved to the top of the timesheets on the fourth day of World Superbike testing as BMW and Ducati assumed the running at Jerez.

With Aprilia and Kawasaki having now concluded their respective 2012 campaigns, attention turned to BMW and Ducati to see if they could get close to Eugene Laverty's Wednesday benchmark of 1min 40.185secs.

As it happens, the cold conditions prevented any rider from getting within range of the Aprilia rider's best marker, though Melandri's effort of 1min 40.816secs on the BMW Italia S1000RR was still substantially faster than that of his WSBK rivals on the day.

Even so, though still a second adrift of Melandri, Carlos Checa made good gains on the Alstare Ducati with his time of 1min 41.840secs, the Spaniard in turn a second faster than Chaz Davies on the second of the BMW Italia machines.

Riding a slick-shod Superstock-specification of the Ducati 1199 Panigale he will ride in 2013, series returnee Max Neukirchner was still quicker than factory Alstare rider Ayrton Badovini, as well as comfortably faster than Niccolo Canepa and Eddi La Marra, who joined on their Barni Racing machines today.

Unofficial lap times

1. Marco Melandri ITA BMW GoldBet Italia S1000RR 1min 40.816secs
2. Carlos Checa ESP Alstare Ducati 1199 Panigale 1min 41.840secs
3. Chaz Davies GBR BMW GoldBet Italia S1000RR 1min 42.716secs
4. Max Neukirchner GER MR Ducati 1199 Panigale 1min 44.426secs *
5. Ayrton Badovini ITA Alstare Ducati 1199 Panigale 1min 44.529secs
6. Niccolo Canepa ITA Barni Ducati 1199 Panigale 1min 45.256secs *
7. Eddi La Marra ITA Barni Ducati 1199 Panigale 1min 45.526secs *

* Superstock specification


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