With the chances of a flag-to-flag race very real, several riders made early bike swaps. Those included six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez, Joan Mir and Pol Espargaro. 

On-track, Franco Morbidelli was showing impressive pace as he followed Fabio Quartararo. The Italian was surprisingly keeping pace with the world champion as the factory Yamaha duo were first and second. 

That changed with just under half the session complete as Jack Miller momentarily went quickest. 

Alex Rins was next to take over at the top for Suzuki in what is their first race weekend since the shock announcement that the Japanese manufacturer intends to leave MotoGP at the end of this season.  

Aiming to win his first home GP, Quartararo demonstrated stunning race pace as he went quickest by a tenth of a second from Rins.

King of MotoGP warm-up, Takaaki Nakagami got very close to Quartararo’s top time as he set a 1:31.822s - +0.017s down on the Frenchman.  

In a bid to save energy, Marquez ended his session with five minutes to go. Struggles for the eight-time world champion continued as Marquez was only 11th at the time of his return to pit lane. 

There was a late fall for Enea Bastianini as the Gresini Ducati rider suddenly lost the front-end on entry to turn 3. Bastianini was the only crasher of the session.

Deemed to have blocked Pol Espargaro in qualifying, home favourite Johann Zarco has been given a three-place grid penalty, - two-time Moto2 champion will now start from ninth. 

Francesco Bagnaia clinches back-to-back MotoGP poles

Bagnaia will start today’s French Grand Prix from pole after breaking the Le Mans lap record for a second time this weekend - fifth overall. 

Bagnaia, who was blisteringly quick in sectors two and three, managed to also gain time in S4 which allowed him to hold off late charges from Enea Bastianini and Espargaro. 

Second on the grid will be Miller after the Australian used his team-mate as a perfect tow. 

Based on race pace in FP4, Bagnaia, Quartararo (starts fourth) and Alex Rins (starts seventh) appeared to be the favourites, however, Espargaro, Miller, Bastianini and Mir can’t be ruled out either. 

Qualifying was another disappointing session for Repsol Honda as Marquez was tenth - seven tenths down on pole, while Pol Espargaro, who topped FP1 was a further four tenths back in 11th. 

Despite a dry weekend to this stage, the threat of rain is very possible for the start of the 27 lap race, meaning the second flag-to-flag race in two years at Le Mans could take place.