Andrea Dovizioso started the French Moto Grand Prix at Le Mans in fine style as a late lap saw him top a competitive FP1 from Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo.

Coming off a disappointing round in Jerez, Dovizioso spent much of the session on top as the gains made at Ducati's official test at Mugello a week before this event were visible for all to see.

Using the soft rear tyre - Ducati's harder option this weekend - Dovizioso set a time of 1m 34.034s in the middle of a quick three-lap run to lead Marquez's Repsol Honda by 0.246s at the end of the session.

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Behind Marquez, Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow and early leader Pol Espargaro were separated by just five hundredths of a second, indicating a close weekend of competition lies ahead.

It was a trying start to the weekend for Marquez, whose RC213V stopped on the pit straight on his first flying lap. The 22-year old was forced to pull across to pit lane and return to track on his spare bike.

Scott Redding, visibly struggling last time out in Jerez, made big gains this morning, ending the session sixth and 0.4s off Dovizioso's marker.

Valentino Rossi made it three Yamahas in the top seven, just a tenth behind Redding while Yonny Hernandez capped an impressive session in eighth.

All eyes were on Andrea Iannone after dislocating his left shoulder at Ducati's test. The Italian suitably impressed, showing steel and resolve to place ninth while Bradley Smith rounded out the top ten.

Dani Pedrosa, returning after a three-race absence, eased himself into proceedings. The Spaniard finished 13th, behind the Suzukis of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vi?ales.

Free Practice 1:
1. Andrea Dovizioso
2. Marc Marquez
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Pol Espargaro
6. Scott Redding
7. Valentino Rossi
8. Yonny Hernandez
9. Andrea Iannone
10. Bradley Smith
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Maverick Vi?ales
13. Dani Pedrosa
14. Stefan Bradl
15. Nicky Hayden
16. Danilo Petrucci
17. Karel Abraham
18. Mike Di Meglio
19. Alvaro Bautista
20. Alex De Angelis
21. Hector Barbera
22. Jack Miller
23. Loris Baz
24. Eugene Laverty
25. Marco Melandri