One week on from scoring his first World Superbike podium in more than two years at Imola, Lorenzo Lanzi picked up where he left off at Magny-Cours by claiming the fastest time in Q1.
The Italian, who had only troubled the top ten on three occasions before he finished second in Italy, was amongst the pace setters during free practice around the French circuit but lost time at the end with a tumble.
Nonetheless, despite having most of his rivals surpass his time in sector one, not a single rider could sustain their pace to the end of the lap, allowing Lanzi and DFX Ducati to celebrate at the top of the timesheets.
He was tailed by factory rider Michel Fabrizio on the Xerox bike, less than a tenth adrift, while Aprilia's Max Biaggi and Luca Scassa – who headed the session for much of the time – followed to make it an Italian 1-2-3-4.
A very tight session with just seven tenths covering first down to Ruben Xaus in 16th, it was also a bruising session for some of the higher profile riders as Cal Crutchlow, Noriyuki Haga and James Toseland all endured tumbles.
Crutchlow and Haga still recovered to fifth and sixth, however, ahead of Troy Corser, Carlos Checa, Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam.
Further back, Jonathan Rea was only 15th best, but did complete 22 laps on the Ten Kate Honda.