Jordi Gene set the fastest time of today's second World Touring Car free practice session at Imola.
The Spaniard's best time was just 0.026sec quicker than fellow factory SEAT driver Rickard Rydell, who finished up second.
Andy Priaulx broke the SEAT stronghold at the front with the third best time for BMW, ahead of Tiago Monteiro's SEAT and Jorg Muller's BMW.
Two more BMWs followed in the shape of local hero Alex Zanardi and Felix Porteiro, who was the quickest independent runner and set his best time on the final lap of the session.
The SEATs of Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller, and Nicola Larini's Chevrolet completed the top 10.
James Thompson was 12th fastest as Lada continues to move nearer to the top 10, he was behind Sergio Hernandez and 0.006sec ahead of Rob Huff.