This time last year, Jonathan Rea walked away from the Friday free practice session with the fastest time, ahead of a handful of BMWs. He wouldn't be so lucky against the German machines this time round.
BMW staked their claim early on in the first free session, with Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam defending the top two spots ahead of the king of qualifying, Tom Sykes. Michel Fabrizio joined them the end, making it three BMWs in the top three places. Fast men Sykes and Rea were joined by the Aprilias of Eugene Laverty and Max Biaggi to round out the top 8.