Three home riders in the top five at Magny-Cours as the championship favourites take a cautious approach
The opening WorldSSP session at the Pirelli French Round saw times tumble throughout as the circuit gradually dried, with several riders swapping top spot. However, another shower late on prevented anybody from challenging Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA). The Frenchman timed his run to perfection, hitting the front moments before the rain returned to Magny-Cours.
At an important weekend for GMT94 YAMAHA, Perolari handed them the perfect start at a circuit he shone at last year. Completing a French 1-2 in the opening session was 2017 champion Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), with Isaac Vinales (Kallio Racing) showing impressive pace throughout the session to grab third spot. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) was another rider who appeared to relish the conditions, finishing fourth fastest, while Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) fell to fifth after leading for much of the session on a weekend where the 30-year-old will be looking to keep his title hopes alive.
Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) ensured three manufacturers would finish FP1 inside the top six with his team-mate Jules Danilo hot on his heels in seventh. Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was eighth while the in-form Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), winner last time out at Portimao, was ninth after taking an understandably cautious approach on a slightly damp surface. The top ten was rounded out by Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing).
Elsewhere, Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) eased his way back into action on his return from injury, taking 12th overall, with championship leader Randy Krummenacher opting to stay out of trouble, winding up down in 18th with only six laps completed. We saw a crash at turn two for Jaimie Van Sikkelerus (MPM WILSport Racedays), who slipped back to 20th after a bright start to the morning, with the Dutch rider unhurt.
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Top six after FP1, for full results, click here!
- Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) 1’44.802
- Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.082
- Isaac Vinales (Kallio Racing) +0.385
- Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) +0.633
- Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) +1.215
- Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) +2.198