While he may have come away with the second fastest time of the day, Troy Bayliss was still frustrated not to get much running in at a wet, cold and windy Magny-Cours.

With dismal weather conditions descending on the French circuit for the first day of World Superbike action, neither Bayliss nor his Ducati Xerox team-mate Michel Fabrizio ventured out onto track in the morning practice session.

Both were on track in provisional qualifying though, even if they only managed around 20 minutes before the rain returned.

Nonetheless, Bayliss was able to pump in a strong first lap to be just eight thousandths of a second behind pace setter Noriyuki Haga. Despite the strong start, he expects the times to tumble over the weekend.

"Well we haven't had chance to do much work today really. The temperature this morning was just 8 degrees and windy and this afternoon wasn't a lot better. I went straight out at the start of the qualifying session this afternoon and managed to get a fairly fast lap in before the rain started.

"The times weren't fast today of course but my time was good enough for second place so that isn't bad. We would like to have a dry day tomorrow because it feels like we've barely been on track today."

Fabrizio, meanwhile, sneaked into a provisional Superpole position in 15th after a tough day adapting the bike to the chilly weather conditions.

"The weather has been bad all day and I hope it will pick up tomorrow and Sunday. This morning was a right off and then this afternoon I came in just before the rain started which was a mistake because if I'd continued, I could have fitted in one or two more worthwhile laps before the session came to a premature end and that way.

"I'd have improved on the fifteenth place that I've finished with today. Anyway, never mind, I just hope tomorrow morning's qualifying is dry."