Scott Redding got his Le Mans Moto2 weekend off to a promising start by setting the fastest time of the day during Friday's pair of free practice sessions.
The Englishman, a best of fourth from his opening three races on a Kalex chassis, improved from fourth in the morning session in France - led by Thomas Luthi (Suter) - to lead the faster afternoon timesheets by just 0.078s over Luthi.
Luthi set his best lap at the close of the session, despite spots of rain.
Simone Corsi was almost half-a-second from Redding in third place for Ioda (FTR), with Redding's Marc VDS team-mate Mika Kallio in fourth.
Marc Marquez, who took his first Moto2 victory at Le Mans last year and leads the 2012 standings by nine points over Pol Espargaro, was fifth quickest for Repsol Suter. Espargaro was 0.005s slower on his Pons Kalex.
Angel Rodriguez, who has switched from an FTR to Bimota chassis, took 16th place for the Desguaces La Torre SAG squad.
Gresini riders Ratthapark Wilairot and Gino Rea, making their debut on the Suter chassis this weekend, were 26th and 30th out of the 32 riders.
Rea was 2.8s from countryman Redding, suggesting another closely fought race on Sunday – depending on the weather.
Friday practice (2):