Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) relied on their opening session best times to lead the field on the first day of action at a warm and dry Jerez.
The cooler morning session offered more outright grip than the afternoon, meaning most of the top riders put in their best times early. The second session push of Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) was so strong, however, that it even held up the progress of recent on-form man Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati WSB), holding the Ducati rider to fourth place.
Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) secured a strong fifth ranking, particularly for a privateer rider, again with his best set in the morning session. Local big name Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) set his sixth best lap, on the combined results so far, in the afternoon.
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) placed seventh and on a great day for the Ducati riders, Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati) and factory team stand in Michele Pirro (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati WSB) finished inside the top nine, eighth and ninth respectively.
The 2014 world champion, Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda WSB), rounded out the top ten, only 0.686 seconds from the best Friday time. The BMW of Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) was 12th and the lone MV Agusta of Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished the day 15th overall.
One more free session (that counts for qualifying), a truly free practice session - and then Superpole for the top riders only – await the WSB competitors on Saturday.