THE FIRST day at Vallelunga's two-day programme was dominated by Troy Bayliss and Noriyuki Haga.
The pair topped the timesheets for most of the day with the Aussie knocking his Japanese rival off the top spot in the final minutes of track time.
Bayliss’ best time was a staggering 1m 36.595 – a full 0.4s faster than Haga.
But as things looked to be over it was the increasingly-impressive 20-year-old rookie Niccolo Canepa on the Xerox Ducati who impressed most, pushing his way into second-quickest overall, demoting Haga to third place.
His performance gives more credence to the hype surrounding the youth and the three wild card appearances he is due to make at Brno, Vallelunga and Magny-Cours.
Michel Fabrizio was fourth, one place ahead of Troy Corser.
Troy Bayliss 1m36.5s
"It's my second time back here on the F08 after a first visit last September and we've done a really good job here today I think. We've tried a couple of things that seem to have improved the bike since I rode it last week at Misano and so I'm feeling really happy. We've done a lot of laps and a couple of mini long-runs and everything went well - I can say that I'm feeling happier on the bike than I have in a while. Pirelli have brought several new front and rear tyres which we've been testing and we'll try a few more tomorrow. I'm feeling really positive."
Niccolo' Canepa 1m37.0s
"This morning I found it a bit tricky at first because it's been a long while since I rode a Superbike and after all the kilometres I've clocked up on the GP bike it took a bit of time this morning to adapt. I didn't expect to go so well so quickly today to be honest so I have to say I'm very happy. We will certainly improve further tomorrow and we also want to test qualifiers as I haven't tried them yet and I don't want to be ill-prepared for Superpole at Brno. I think I need a little time to gain confidence with the bike but I have to admit I'm very satisfied with the progress we've made already today."
Vallelunga WSB test times
1 21 Bayliss T. (AUS) Ducati 1098 F08 1'36.595
2 59 Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098 F08 1'37.044
3 41 Haga N. (JPN) Yamaha YZF-R1 1'37.115
4 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098 F08 1'37.312
5 11 Corser T. (AUS) Yamaha YZF-R1 1'37.417
6 96 Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'37.430
7 7 Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1'37.639
8 23 Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1'37.753
9 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'37.999
10 111 Xaus R. (ESP) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'38.022
11 88 Aoyama S. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1'38.087
12 38 Nakatomi S. (JPN) Yamaha YZF-R1 1'38.202
13 44 Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'38.458
14 54 Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'38.976
15 31 Muggeridge K. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 1'39.097
16 57 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'39.251
17 43 Pridmore J. (USA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'39.748
18 22 Morelli L. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'41.320