Laurie Canter followed up his incredible first round of 60 at the Italian Open with a four-under par 68 to take a two-shot lead going into the weekend at Chervo Golf Club.
The Englishman picked up where he left off after Thursday's 12-under par effort as he aims to secure his first European Tour victory, racing to three under through his first four holes.
"Just more of the same definitely tomorrow. I don't think anything needs to change. You can't take your foot off around here; the scoring is going to be good. A lot of good players stacked up behind. I've got to go out and do what I'm doing and hopefully give myself a really good chance on Sunday," said Canter.
His pace slowed on the back nine after he dropped his first shot of the week on the par five 11th, but his fifth birdie of the day on the last took him to 16 under par and two shots clear of countryman Ross McGowan.
The 38-year-old carded a bogey-free round of 64 to keep Canter in his sights as he bids to lift a European Tour trophy for the first time since the 2009 Madrid Masters.
South African Dean Burmester is two shots further back on 12-under par, with Dane Joachim B. Hansen recovering from a double bogey on the fifth to sign for a 69 and get to 11-under par.
His countryman Nicolai Hojgaard is at ten under par alongside Frenchman Robin Roussel and last week's Scottish Championship Adrian Otaegui of Spain.
Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger and two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer are then amongst a group of ten players on nine under par. Dutchman Lars van Meijel will return on Saturday morning to complete his second round due to darkness.
Round three will start after 08:30 local time in three balls from the first tee.
Leading second round scores in the European Tour's Italian Open in San Vigilio di Pozzolengo near Brescia on Friday (GBR/IRL unless stated; par 72):
128 - Laurie Canter 60 68
130 - Ross McGowan 66 64
132 - Dean Burmester (RSA) 64 68
133 - Joachim B. Hansen (DEN) 64 69
134 - Robin Roussel (FRA) 66 68, Nicolai Hojgaard (DEN) 67 67, Adrian Otaegui (ESP) 67 67
135 - Adri Arnaus (ESP) 65 70, Richard Bland 65 70, Matthieu Pavon (FRA) 70 65, Sebastian Heisele (GER) 68 67, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 68 67, Martin Kaymer (GER) 69 66, Tapio Pulkkanen (FIN) 67 68, Darius Van Driel (NED) 71 64, Jonathan Caldwell 67 68, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 67 68