Ducati’s Ruben Xaus was fastest in qualifying on Friday for Sunday’s WSB opener in Valencia.
His time was more than half a second under the fastest qualifying time set last year.
Reigning world champion Troy Bayliss was second fastest with Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga third, and 2000 champion Colin Edwards (Honda) fourth.
The provisional second row is Ben Bostrom fifth (Ducati), sixth Hitoyasu Izutsu (Kawasaki), seventh James Toseland (Ducati), Neil Hodgson eighth (Ducati).
Chili was ninth quickest, also on a Ducati.
Chris Walker was 14th quickest and Britain’s other hopeful, Mark Heckles could only manage 19th fastest on his kitted SP-2, after crashing during the session. He was unhurt but was limited to just 10 laps.
Hodgson has been struggling with front end chatter, a problem the Spanish circuit is known to exaggerate.
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