Magny-Cours WSBK: Razgatlioglu heads practice from Redding, Rea
Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu led the way in Friday practice for the World Superbike round at Magny-Cours, heading his championship rivals Scott Redding and Jonathan Rea.
With the track having dried out completely in time for second practice, the laptimes were almost instantly quicker than those set in mixed weather in FP1 in the morning - even as an incident in World Supersport delayed proceedings by five minutes.
Alex Lowes was the first rider to break the 1m38s barrier during the day, lapping the French circuit in 1m37.764s on the factory Kawasaki to lead the BMW of Michael van der Mark.
Eight minutes into the session GoEleven Ducati rider Chaz Davies deposed Lowes from the top with a 1m37.658s, with Lowes' next flyer falling 0.042s short of his compatriot.
Davies' time remained quickest until about halfway through FP1, when Razgatlioglu moved atop the leaderboard with a 1m37.649s.
The Turkish rider found more time in the final minutes of the session, gaining a quarter of a second in the first sector alone to improve to a 1m37.138s and extend his advantage at the front.
Redding jumped to second with a last-gasp effort of 1m37.346s, but even that was two tenths slower than Razgatlioglu's benchmark, which remained unbeaten as FP2 came to a close.
Six-time WSBK champion Rea ended up third for Kawasaki with a time of 1m37.426s, while an impressive late effort from Davies put him in fourth place.
Honda rider Leon Haslam moved from the outside the top to fifth by posting a time of 1m37.545s, while BMW's Tom Sykes made it five different manufacturers in the top six thanks to a 1m37.607s flyer.
GRT's Garrett Gerloff ended up just under half a second down on his Yamaha stablemate Razgatlioglu in seventh, while Lowes was classified eighth after gaining just 0.038s on his previous effort of 1m37.700s.
The top 10 was rounded out by Michael Ruben Rinaldi - who recently secured a contract extension with Ducati for 2022 - and van der Mark on the second factory BMW.
Works Yamaha rider Andrea Locatelli finished seven tenths off the pace in 11th while Honda's Alvaro Bautista was fractionally slower than him in 12th.
Earlier in FP1, Rea set a time of 1m38.402s after putting on slick tyres to lead van der Mark and teammates Lowes, as Razgatlioglu finished fourth ahead of Redding.
|9||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'37.771||0.633|
|10||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||1'37.808||0.670|
|View full results|
|2||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||1'38.542||0.140|
|View full results|
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Iker Lecuona has expressed his frustration that tyre longevity issues prevented him from capitalising on Honda’s first World Superbike pole position in six years last weekend at Barcelona.
Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu remain defiant about their World Superbike title hopes despite conceding more ground in the championship to a dominant Alvaro Bautista last weekend at Barcelona.