Click here for full WorldSBK FP2 results from Magny-Cours
Chaz Davies has maintained his advantage over the World Superbike field by pulling out a two-tenths advantage on nearest challenger Leon Camier on the MV Agusta with both factory Kawasaki riders in close company.
In an intriguing FP2, Tom Sykes set the initial pace with a 1m 38.068s despite getting his Kawasaki ZX-10R to limp back to the pits with a technical issue earlier in the session.
As the pace quickened with focus on outright pace as well as race distances Davies broke into the 1m 37s on his Aruba.it Racing Ducati. Despite a late improvement from Camier he failed to bridge the gap to Davies and the Welsh rider carries a two-tenth lead into the second day of track action at Magny-Cours.
Camier's 1m 38.064s was enough to hand him second on the timesheet ahead of Sykes with Jonathan Rea less than a tenth off his main title rival in fourth.
After battling back from a swollen foot suffered in a crash which forced him out of the Aragon MotoGP race last weekend, Alex Lowes held on to fifth overall to keep Pata Yamaha in contention at the top.
Having missed the entire FP1 session at the French track, Honda's Michael van der Mark enjoyed a productive afternoon to chalk up 25 laps with a best time of 1m 38.384s to go sixth ahead of Xavi Fores and Lorenzo Savadori.
Sylvain Guintoli ensured the second Pata Yamaha progressed automatically into Superpole 2 along with Althea BMW's Jordi Torres who edge out team-mate Markus Reiterberger who failed to better his FP1 time to be shuffled back down to 11th.
With Matthieu Lagrive on the Pedercini Kawsaki in 12th, Nicky Hayden endured a trickier session down in 13th with factory Ducati rider Davide Giugliano struggling with a shoulder injury in 15th.