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Sam Lowes has taken a small step towards confirming his World Supersport Championship title by claiming provisional pole position for the penultimate round of the season at Magny-Cours.

Needing just a single point from either of the final two rounds, Lowes gave a hint that he plans to secure his crown on a high as he paced Q1 around a dry French circuit.

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His time of 1min 42.144secs was comfortably four tenths faster than Kenan Sofuoglu - the only rider that can beat him to the title -, though the Turk would lose time with a technical issue during the closing stages of the session.

A late improvement would see Lorenzo Zanetti complete the provisional front row, bumping down Christian Iddon on the best of ParkinGO MV Agustas and Lowes's Yakhnich Yamaha team-mate Vladimir Leonov.

Kev Coghlan was sixth fastest, ahead of Michael van der Mark, Ronan Quarmby and Roberto Tamburini, while Fabien Foret - who decided to sit out the wet FP1 session - returned to his home circuit in tenth position.