Jerez winner Miller leads opening practice for the French MotoGP at Le Mans, held on a wet but drying track.

The Australian was typically the first rider to switch from wet to slick tyres with 12mins to go, immediately climbing to second behind home star Zarco despite rain spots falling, then breaking 2.3s clear at the top on his next lap.

Others rushed to respond on soft slicks, producing a frantic end to the session, but it was too late to challenge Miller who watched the final minutes from the pits.

Alex Marquez and Vinales fell during the session, the Yamaha rider just as he joined the track from pit lane, while world champion Mir was forced to park one of his Suzukis after a technical problem in the opening 15 minutes.

More bad weather is expected during the weekend, meaning riders were especially anxious to try and claim a top ten place this morning.

Quartararo is riding for the first time since arm-pump surgery on his right forearm. Like all the Yamahas, he was left outside the top ten in FP1.

Injured rookie Jorge Martin is again replaced by Rabat. Marquez, sidelined for nine months after complications to a broken right arm at Jerez last July, is taking part in his third event since returning to MotoGP action.

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French MotoGP, Le Mans - Free Practice (1) Results
1Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)1'38.007s13/14309k
2Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+1.481s18/18309k
3Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+2.062s13/13298k
4Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+2.108s16/16306k
5Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+2.114s18/18306k
6Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*+2.237s18/18292k
7Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+2.249s22/22308k
8Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+2.575s12/16301k
9Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+2.672s16/16309k
10Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+3.022s12/14299k
11Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+3.251s19/19306k
12Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+3.292s11/14300k
13Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+3.416s21/21295k
14Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+3.517s20/20297k
15Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+3.569s12/17304k
16Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+3.634s21/21299k
17Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+4.493s16/18298k
18Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+4.892s14/19299k
19Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+5.038s8/12294k
20Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+5.255s18/18286k
21Tito RabatSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)+5.462s21/21297k
22Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+5.637s14/16290k

* Rookie.

Official Le Mans MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Johann Zarco FRA Yamaha 1m 31.185s (2018)
Fastest race lap:
Maverick Vinales SPA Yamaha 1m 32.309s (2017)

By Peter McLaren