Gabriele Tarquini pipped Yvan Muller to the top spot in the first test of the WTCC weekend in Moscow, lapping the circuit a mere 0.043 seconds faster than the Citroën driver.
The Italian clinched the fastest time with a 1m38.460, while teammate Tiago Monteiro gave a possible hint of a strong Honda weekend by setting the third fastest time overall, just over half a second behind Tarquini.
Reigning champion Jose Maria Lopez was close to eight tenths of a second off the pace in fourth position, with Citroen teammates Ma Qing Hua and Sebastien Loeb right behind him in fifth and sixth.
The fastest Lada driver was Rob Huff in seventh position, just under a second from the top time, with top independent runner Norbert Michelisz in eighth position for Zengo Motorsport.
Fastest of the Chevrolet drivers was Hugo Valente in 10th position, 1.232 seconds adrift of Tarquini.
The bad luck continued for Rickard Rydell, who makes his return to the championship this weekend after being forced to sit out all races since the season-opener in Marrakech.
The Swede had to watch the test session from the pits as the team trailer has been stuck in customs for four days.
The test was held in dry conditions, albeit with light rain falling at the end of the session.
|4||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen||1'39.217||0.757|
|5||Ma Qing Hua||Citroen||1'39.265||0.805|
|12||Jaap van Lagen||Lada||1'39.950||1.490|
|-||Rickard Rydell||Honda||no time||-|