Ten Kate Hannspree Honda's Jonathan Rea topped the first free practice session at the Magny Cours circuit in France, the Brit besting fellow Honda man Leon Haslam.Rea lapped at a best of 1:39.984 and ended up as the only rider to crack the 1:40 barrier. Haslam's best was a 1:40.213. Noriyuki Haga ended up third in the session - four spots better than his championship rival Ben Spies. But only .170 of a second separated the pair as the top 14 riders ended up within a second of Rea's best.Fourth fastest in the session was Rea's teammate Carlos Checa. Checa bested Fonsi Nieto with Ducati Xerox's Michel Fabrizio sixth and then Spies seventh. Aprilia's Max Biaggi was eighth over BMW's Troy Corser and Guandalini Ducati's Shane Byrne. Biaggi's teammate for the weekend, British Superbike Champion Leon Camier, ended up 17th in his debut on the bike.

Free Practice

1. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:39.984

2. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:40.213

3. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1:40.222

4. Carlos Checa (Honda) 1:40.243

5. Fonsi Nieto (Ducati) 1:40.279

6. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:40.369

7. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:40.392

8. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:40.701

9. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:40.736

10. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:40.802

11. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1:40.803

World Superbike Headlines

By Cycle News Staff

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