Massimo Roccoli gave his chances of securing a place in Lorenzini by Leoni's forthcoming factory Kawasaki effort a small boost by dominating first free practice at Magny-Cours.
Fresh from the confirmation that Lorenzini, which has run a Kawasaki ZX-6R in a privateer capacity for the last two seasons, will be promoted to the manufacturer's full factory effort in 2012, the team is looking increasingly attractive for next season.
Even so, Roccoli, who has posted a handful of notable results this year, will have done his reputation no harm by out-pacing the regular front runners in FP1 around the French circuit, the Italian four tenths quicker than Kawasaki counterpart David Salom and almost a second faster than third place man Chaz Davies.
Behind them, Sam Lowes was fourth fastest on the Parkalgar Honda, ahead of Luca Scassa and leading local rider Florian Marino. Broc Parkes, Gino Rea, James Ellison and Roberto Tamburini rounded out the top ten, while Fabien Foret, the only man realistically capable of beating Davies to the WSS title, was only 11th.
Further back, British Supersport regular Pauli Pekkanen, who is competing as a wild-card aboard his 777RR Triumph, was 21st, while BSB regular Martin Jessopp was 29th as he gets a shot on the Step Racing Honda this weekend.