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Jonathan Rea remained at the head of the World Superbike free practice timesheets thanks to his best lap from Friday as an all-British trio of riders closed in on his weekend best time in FP3.

In a session that also provides riders with a final chance to make the overall top ten to qualify directly for the afternoon SP2 session, Michael van der Mark and Leon Camier were the notable names to miss the cut, ensuring they will both appear in SP1.

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At the front however, Rea and Chaz Davies, the current form man in the series, were the only men to lap in the 1m 37s, as they focused on fine-tuning long distance set-up ahead of Sunday's races.

Indeed Davies lapped the French circuit one tenth faster on Saturday, meaning Rea's overall advantage was reduced to 0.188s. The Northern Irishman wasn't focusing solely on lap times however, as he posted an impressive 18 lap run, of which two were in the 1m 37s and the rest in the mid-high 1m 38s.

Both Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes also lapped faster in FP3, getting to within 0.258s and 0.264s of Rea's best time from Friday. While Haslam couldn't match the consistency of the other three riders in the top four, his fastest time came on his 18th and final lap.

Maintaining his consistent and considerable improvements throughout the weekend, Jordi Torres climbed to fifth after trimming half a second off his best time from Friday. The Spaniard, who scored his best ever World Superbike result last time out, was 0.5s off the best time of the weekend.

Alex Lowes was pushed back to sixth as a result with Niccolo Canepa seventh. Ayrton Badovini was the best of the BMWs as wildcard Markus Reiterberger squeezed into the top ten, a place behind Sylvain Guintoli.

Machine issues kept Michael van der Mark (15th) in his garage at the close of the session, meaning he was unable to better his early effort. He will be joined in SP1 by Camier (14th), Davide Giugliano's stand-in Luca Scassa (eleventh) and the Ducati pairing of Matteo Baiocco (twelfth) and Leandro Mercado (13th), who both fell in the session.