Defending champion Mahias leads the way in WorldSSP practice.
A late flying lap by Italian Marco Melandri saw him set the fastest time in the opening practice session for round one of the 2018 Motul Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island.
On a drying track, Melandri took his Aruba.it Racing Ducati to a best lap of 1m42.974s, completing the 40-minute session ahead of world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia).
Rea, a double winner at Phillip Island over the last two seasons, was on the pace from the get-go and sat on top of the leaderboard for most of the session before Melandri’s last burst.
Impressive Spaniard Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati) was fourth, just ahead of Alex Lowes (Yamaha) and American WorldSBK rookie PJ Jacobsen (Triple M Racing Honda).
Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell was the leading Australian in 17th with a 1m46.351s, as teammate Daniel Falzon slotted into P20. Fellow wildcard Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) elected to remain in his pit garage.
In World Supersport this morning it was world champion Lucas Mahias (Pata Yamaha) who went quickest with a 1m33.103s, trailed by test pace-setter Randy Krummenacher (Evan Bros Yamaha) and class newcomer Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing Yamaha).
Top of the Australians was series regular Anthony West (EAB West Racing Kawasaki) in seventh, a second from the front, while Tom Toparis (Cube Racing Kawasaki) was 17th and Lachlan Epis (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 19th.