Guintoli edges Sykes after first qualifying session.
Magny-Cours (France) - The rain falling down minutes before the start did not prevent the eni FIM Superbike World Championship riders from getting up to speed in Qualifying 1. All the protagonists of the series went immediately on track to set a fast lap-time before a possible worsening of conditions, which fortunately did not happen.
Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), one of the three home WSBK riders for the round, was able to edge Championship leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) for first position by breaking into the 1'38s barrier and set a 1'38.709s lap-time, with few seconds left in the session.
Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) ended up in third place, ahead of Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), who was able to elevate himself to fifth in the closing stages after spending most of the session around tenth place.
Encouraging first day for 8-time World Endurance Champion Vincent Philippe, who finished in seventh place on his very first day onboard the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000, as the Frenchman stepped in for injured regular rider Leon Camier for this round.
A good WSBK debut for Michele Pirro (Team Ducati Alstare), tenth at the flag behind fellow Italians Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Michel Fabrizio (Pata Honda World Superbike).