WSB: Rea leads van der Mark on day one
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) started his potentially historic weekend in France in perfect shape, setting the fastest Friday practice time at Magny-Cours. As he goes for his third world championship in succession this weekend, his start was textbook stuff in dry and relatively warm conditions at the 11th round of the season. He was fully 0.439 seconds from the next best rider.
A late push from Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) saw him finish second fastest with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) third.
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Multiple-race winner Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) put himself fourth pre-Superpole, while a very late charge from Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) allowed him into the upper echelons in fifth.
Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati) placed sixth.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) went from a long-time second place to seventh, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) was eighth and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) ninth.
Returnee from injury, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was third for a time but then dropped to tenth, for the last guaranteed automatic place in Superpole 2.