Troy Bayliss saved his best until last to take provisional pole position at the French World Superbike round at Magny Cours. The Ducati rider took the top spot on his final flying lap of the second qualifying session. Troy Bayliss started the session slowly but was soon pushing toward the top of the leader board on the Ducati before setting the benchmark 1m39.651s lap.
Troy Bayliss’ best knocked Japan’s Noriyuki Haga off the top spot. Haga struggled with suspension set-up on the opening day but clearly got his Yamaha Italia R1 dialled into the fast French circuit and was consistently one of the quickest men in the hour long session.
The surprise package of qualifying was once again German young gun Max Neukirchner riding the second Alstare Suzuki this weekend. Deputising for the injured Yukio Kagayama, Neukirchner was the fastest man for the first half of the session before dropping to third following a slow speed crash.
Frenchman Regis Laconi upped his game for his home fans to put his PSG-1 Kawasaki on the provisional front row after spending his fast laps on track with Italian Max Biaggi. Biaggi himself spent the session improving the set-up of his bike and his lap time but was only able to escalate himself up to tenth place.
Britain's James Toseland ended the session down in seventh place with a best lap of 1m.40.190. Toseland ran in the top three early on in the session but in his final run suffered a clutch problem which prevented him from improving his lap time.