The 46 year old carded a second round of 68 in Turin that saw him set the early clubhouse target of seven under par.
"It's almost ten years since I played in Italy and they have made a big effort to make this a special tournament so I wanted to support this tournament and The Tour," said the Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner.
The highlight of Jiménez's round came at the par five 18th, his ninth hole, when he holed a pitch shot from 70 yards for an eagle three, and he followed that with three birdies in five holes from the first.
Jiménez shared the lead with Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed, who had an eagle two on the 14th but still had two holes to play.
On a difficult day for scoring, overnight joint leader Paul Lawrie added a 73 to his opening 67 to fall back to four under par.
The 41 year old from Aberdeen was level par for the day until dropping a shot on the ninth, his final hole, after missing the fairway from the tee and being forced to pitch out.
Asked how frustrated he was, the former Open Champion said: "On a scale of one to ten, about 15. I played much better than yesterday from tee to green but just couldn't get the ball in the hole and any poor shot I hit I got punished severely.
"It was the polar opposite of yesterday. I hit an awful lot of good shots and missed a lot of putts but there's not much you can do. You're going to get days where you don't get what you deserve and vice versa."
Fellow overnight leaders Robert Rock, Graeme Storm and Marcus Fraser were among the later starters, Rock making a birdie on the first to move within one shot of Jiménez on six under.
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