Just 0.710 seconds separated the top 16 riders at the end of first qualifying at Magny Cours today.
In-form Italian Lorenzo Lanzi claimed top honours onboard his DFX Ducati ahead of full factory Xerox Ducati rider Michel Fabrizio.
World Champion Max Biaggi claimed an impressive third place, despite suffering from a bout of flu. New Triumph World Supersport signing, Luca Scassa set the pace in the session before dropping to fourth onboard his Supersonic Ducati.
The current standings see four Italians on the provisional front row including three Ducati’s.
Brit Cal Crutchlow was the first non Italian, in fifth with Noriyuki Haga, who suffered a crash, in sixth.
Troy Corser jumped up the leader board at the end of the session to go seventh with last weekends double race winner Carlos Checa eighth.
Brits Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam secured ninth and tenth, with Toseland who also crashed in 12. Injured Jonathan Rea finished the day in pain and in 15th place, but remains just 0.598s off pole position.
Ian Lowry riding the second factory Kawasaki claimed 19th, one place ahead of Roger Lee Hayden.
1 57 L. LANZI ITA DFX Corse Ducati 1098R 1'38.856
2 84 M. FABRIZIO ITA Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098R 1'38.927
3 3 M. BIAGGI ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'38.972
4 99 L. SCASSA ITA Supersonic Racing Team Ducati 1098R 1'39.000
5 35 C. CRUTCHLOW GBR Yamaha Sterilgarda Team Yamaha YZF R1 1'39.058
6 41 N. HAGA JPN Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098R 1'39.091
7 11 T. CORSER AUS BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 1'39.119
8 7 C. CHECA ESP Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 1'39.138
9 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'39.207
10 91 L. HASLAM GBR Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'39.238
11 96 J. SMRZ CZE Team PATA B&G Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'39.260
12 52 J. TOSELAND GBR Yamaha Sterilgarda Team Yamaha YZF R1 1'39.360
13 67 S. BYRNE GBR Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 1'39.370
14 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'39.431
15 65 J. REA GBR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'39.454
16 111 R. XAUS ESP BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 1'39.566
17 76 M. NEUKIRCHNER GER HANNspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'40.704
18 15 M. BAIOCCO ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'41.488
19 5 I. LOWRY GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'41.651
20 95 R. HAYDEN USA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'41.669
21 33 F. LAI ITA ECHO CRS Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'41.881