The Norwegian, who already has two wins this season under his belt - both in Lake Louise - clocked 1:58.73 down the slopes at the Italian resort.
Svindal tweeted after the race: “Looking promising! Never been this fast in downhill training in Val Gardena ITA before. I like it!!”
Svindal was just quick enough to top the timesheets ahead of his nearest rivals on the day Erik Guay of Canada and Klaus Kroell of Austria.
“It’s fun to ski this year, the snow is quite aggressive and in the Ciaslat it’s intense," Guay said. "I landed a jump on the flat and that was never fun but altogether I had a good run and am looking forward to seeing how much faster we can go in the race.”
Werner Heel took advantage of the bitter cold which made the course quicker as the day went on, and the Italian ended in fourth place, having been fastest after two-thirds of the course skied.
Snow has been forecast to arrive on Friday night and into Saturday at Val Gardena, meaning the order of events may be reversed, with the downhill coming forward to Friday and the super-G postponed until Saturday.
Top 10 results:
1 SVINDAL Aksel Lund NOR 1:58.73
2 GUAY Erik CAN 1:58.77
3 KROELL Klaus AUT 1:58.83
4 HEEL Werner ITA 1:58.95
5 NYMAN Steven USA 1:59.28
6 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan SUI 1:59.37
7 BOUILLOT Alexandre FRA 1:59.48
8 STRIEDINGER Otmar AUT 1:59.51
9 REICHELT Hannes AUT 1:59.57
10 VARETTONI Silvano ITA 1:59.69
- Sports & Recreation
- Erik Guay