Full World Superbike FP1 results from Magny-Cours

World Superbike championship leader Jonathan Rea has put himself to the front of the pack at Magny-Cours ahead of his first shot at sealing a historic fourth consecutive world title, while Leandro Mercado walked away from a nasty crash which triggered a late red flag in FP1.

Rea instantly set the pace with a 1m 37.800s before setting the target to beat for his rivals with a 1m 37.202s – already under the lap record – with a half-second gap to nearest challenger and Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes.

Rea produced his final lap flyer after a brief red flag following Mercado’s high-side crash at the final corner. The Argentinean rider clipped the inside kerb at the final corner which threw him off his Kawasaki and into the barriers, with his bike coming to a stop on the outside kerb.

Mercado was able to walk back to the pits unaided with the FP1 session resuming with two minutes remaining which set-up an impromptu Superpole simulation. Rea duly produced the quickest time ahead of Sykes with the Pata Yamaha pair following up with Michael van der Mark in third and Alex Lowes in fourth.

Lorenzo Savadori put his Milwaukee Aprilia in fifth place at the end of the opening session with Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) in sixth.

Chaz Davies continues to battle back from his broken collarbone by taking seventh place for Aruba.it Racing Ducati ahead of local rider Loris Baz for Althea BMW and Milwaukee Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty.

MV Agusta’s Jordi Torres rounds out the top ten and the provisional Q2 spots in front of Red Bull Honda’s Leon Camier and Mercardo.

Marco Melandri failed to set a lap time for Aruba.it Racing Ducati following a technical issue with his Panigale R at the start of the session.