History-making five-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea ended yesterday's opening day of practice for the fourth round of the 2020 series at Aragon third fastest.
The Ulsterman will be aiming to stride towards his sixth consecutive crown in three races this weekend, one today and two tomorrow.
Cooler track temperatures in the morning session saw the fastest times of the day, with factory Ducati's Chaz Davies setting a one minute, 50.243 seconds lap around the 3.173-mile circuit. That was a mere 0.058 seconds ahead of the satellite Ducati of Italian Michael Rinaldi, with Rea a further 0.135 seconds down on his Kawasaki.
Davies has a great record at Aragon - he has won at the track seven times - and will be a strong contender this weekend.
Templepatrick ace Rea set the fastest time in second practice, the only man to dip into the one minute, 50 second barrier, but could not improve on the times from the first session with the track 12 degrees warmer.
Rea commented after practice: "Because we had a test here a few weeks ago, we understood the base set-up and I felt okay with the bike.
"We have a good idea that our bike will work okay in cooler conditions, so the plan is to make a time attack in Superpole to get a good grid position and then make a solid 18-lap race. There are a lot of guys in front quite close together, so we need to do our homework and come out swinging for the races."
In the Championship chase, Rea has a narrow four-point lead over his main rival Scott Redding (factory Ducati).
The ex-MotoGP rider and last year's British Superbike champion was down in 11th position yesterday after the opening session and one of the few riders to improve his time in his second outing, ending up eighth fastest overall almost a second behind Davies.
Rea's compatriot Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad) improved his time slightly in the second session but was still down in 16th position, a second and a half off the leading time, as he begins the search for a new team for 2021.
With five different manufacturers in the top six, split by less than half a second, the scene is set for some exciting and close racing.
Meanwhile Eunan McGlinchey continues his European adventure in the World Supersport 300 class on the Cork-based Team #109 Kawasaki, again looking to qualify for the races proper through the Last Chance route whereby the top six riders in this race automatically start the Championship races.