As rain began to fall with less than five minutes of FP1 in the books, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who admitted news regarding his WorldSBK future will come after the French round, crashed at turn five.
Prior to that, reigning WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu had a scare on the approach to the final chicane but still managed to come across the line fastest before Alex Lowes went to the top of the leaderboard.
Much heavier rain followed on the next lap which resulted in every rider returning to pit lane.
Despite bright sunshine soon breaking through, the Magny-Cours circuit was taking a long time to dry before Rinaldi braved the conditions with 18 minutes to go.
The Italian was then joined on-track by team-mate and championship leader Alvaro Bautista.
|2022 World Superbike Magny-Cours, France – Free Practice Results (1)|
|1||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||1:39.107s|
|2||Michael Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||+0.270s|
|3||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||+0.326s|
|4||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||+0.999s|
|5||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||+1.318s|
|6||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Ducati||+1.638s|
|7||Philipp Oettl||GER||GoEleven Ducati||+2.113s|
|8||Xavi Vierge||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+2.147s|
|9||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||+2.325s|
|10||Luca Bernardi||SM||Barni Spark Ducati Team||+2.949s|
|11||Iker Lecuona||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+3.498s|
|12||Kohta Nozane||JPN||GRT Yamaha||+3.823s|
|13||Michael Van Der Mark||SPA||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||+4.198s|
|14||Oscar Gutierrez||SPA||Pedercini Kawasaki||+5.000s|
|15||Leandro Mercado||ARG||MIE Honda Racing||+5.580s|
|16||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing Kawasaki||+6.654s|
|17||Christophe Ponsson||FRA||Gil Motor Sport Yamaha||+8.109s|
|18||Roberto Tamburini||ITA||Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+9.551s|
|19||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||+11.747s|
|20||Lucas Mahias||FRA||Puccetti Kawasaki||+16.867s|
|21||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Honda Racing||+17.097s|
|22||Eugene Laverty||IRL||Bonovo Action BMW||No Time Set|
|23||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Action BMW||No Time Set|
|24||Garrett Gerloff||USA||GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team||No Time Set|
Although not the conditions riders would have wanted, the wet track provided a chance for much of the field to test Pirelli’s new wet front tyre.
One of those was Jonathan Rea who failed to set a lap time in dry conditions, thus resulting in the Kawasaki rider being way down the order.
Joining Rinaldi in crashing at turn five, Andrea Locatelli lost the front-end of his Yamaha R1 at the right-hander.
Magny-Cours WorldSBK records
Fastest Lap – Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing Team 1:35.683s (2021)
2021 Race Winners
Race 1 – Toprak Razgatlioglu TUR Pata Yamaha
Superpole Race – Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing Team
Race 2 Toprak Razgatlioglu TUR Pata Yamaha
There was early drama for home favourite Lucas Mahias as the former 2017 WorldSSP champion pulled off-track with a technical issue aboard his Puccetti Kawasaki.
Magny-Cours WorldSBK Weekend Schedule
Free Practice 1: 09:30-10:15
Free Practice 2: 14:00-14:45
Free Practice 3: 08:00-08:30
Race 1: 13:00
Race 2: 13:00