After showing real promise at Assen two weeks ago, Florian Marino set the fourth fastest time in first qualifying for round four of the World Supersport Championship at Monza.
Marino was quickest on Friday at Assen, and was on target for a podium until he was taken out by Luca Scassa.
Chaz Davies was the victor in the Netherlands and the Briton claimed provisional pole with a lap of 1:48.408, pushing championship leader Scassa into second, with Gino Rea in third.
Marino completes the provisional front row and admitted to still not feeling comfortable with the CBR600RR machine, hinting at more to come on Saturday.
“This afternoon was a little better than this morning. We were able to lap competitively but I am still fighting with the bike too much. I was to go in one direction but the bike wants to go the opposite way! We adjusted the clutch and engine braking today and I think we'll continue working in this way and hope that tomorrow we can improve some more.”
Hannspree Ten Kate Honda teammate Fabien Foret was down in ninth after a mistake on his final flying lap, but the Frenchman doesn't believe today provided a true picture of the pecking order and expects to go quicker tomorrow.
“I spent a lot of time in the garage today and then, at the end when I put in a softer tyre, I missed the chicane and suddenly it was the end of the session. I was disappointed not to be higher but I am sure we can improve tomorrow.”
Team manager Ronald ten Kate was also in confident mood and expects both of his riders to be at the sharp end in final qualifying.
“We still have quite a bit of work to do but the direction seems pretty clear. Despite still having some set-up issues, Florian still has shown some speed here. Fabien didn't get a good shot with the softer tyre so it should be easy for him to improve his position tomorrow. It's almost a case of dÃ©jÃ vu from the Assen round where we made some massive changes for Saturday, so it will be all hands on deck to improve things for tomorrow.”