Andrea Iannone set the fastest lap time during the newly extended one-hour Friday free practice session for the 125cc French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
The track was damp from morning rain at the start of the session, but soon dried - although Nicolas Terol was spectacularly caught out a puddle which had been protected from the sun by the shadow of a bridge.
Meanwhile Julian Simon, who crashed out while trying to chase down team-mate Bradley Smith in the early stages of the Spanish Grand Prix, was fastest for most of the session.
Championship leader Iannone - who won the first two rounds before also falling at Jerez - then knocked the Aspar Aprilia rider from the top with four minutes to go and held a 0.211sec advantage by the chequered flag.
Another Aspar rider, Sergio Gadea, backed up his second place at Jerez with third on Friday, with Joan Olive the top non-Aprilia rider in fourth.
New grand prix winner Smith, now just one point behind Iannone, was fifth fastest.
Friday practice - Le Mans:
1. Iannone (Aprilia) 1min 45.258
2. Simon (Aprilia) +0.211sec
3. Gadea (Aprilia) +0.228sec
4. Olive (Derbi) +0.803sec
5. Smith (Aprilia) +0.829sec
6. Aegerter (Derbi) +0.923sec
7. Marquez (KTM) +0.947sec
8. Vazquez (Derbi) +1.122sec
9. Rabat (Aprilia) +1.181sec
10. Corsi (Aprilia) +1.368sec
35. Hoyle (Haojue) +10.562sec