Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took over at the top in FP1 for the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France on his final lap, just deposing Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) after the Italian had done the same to Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Viñales was first to set a real flier as he pulled almost half a second clear, but ‘DesmoDovi’ and reigning World Champion Marquez reeled him to end the session within just 0.067. Marquez also tried a new aero fairing, after having concentrated on aerodynamics a lot in testing in Jerez and Mugello.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) took P4 and home hero Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) moved up to complete the top five late on, ahead of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who spent most of the session threatening the top echelons of the timesheets.

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Tony Carter

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