Casey Stoner topped the first practice session for the French MotoGP event, the Australian leading a trio of works Honda riders.
Stoner posted a time of 1m34.133s to break the Le Mans circuit record – held by Valentino Rossi since the 2008 season – by finishing nearly three tenths of a second ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
Spanish Grand Prix winner Dani Pedrosa was third quickest in a session dominated by the works Hondas, the Spaniard over half a second behind Stoner.
Another Honda, that of Marcos Simoncelli, was fourth quickest, with MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo completing the top five for Yamaha. The Spanish rider, however, was over a second slower than Stoner. Rossi had a slow start to the weekend, the Italian finishing over 1.2sec off the fastest time in the quickest of the Ducatis.
Teammate Nicky Hayden finished down in eighth, with the satellite Ducati of Randy de Puniet splitting the works riders.
The session started under cold conditions, despite a sunny morning.
Pos Rider Team Time Laps
1. Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team 1m34.133s 20
2. Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 1m34.431s + 0.298 22
3. Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team 1m34.808s + 0.675 22
4. Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m35.029s + 0.896 21
5. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 1m35.165s + 1.032 24
6. Valentino Rossi Ducati Team 1m35.414s + 1.281 22
7. Randy De Puniet Pramac Racing Team 1m35.687s + 1.554 23
8. Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 1m35.721s + 1.588 20
9. Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m35.731s + 1.598 22
10. Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing 1m35.743s + 1.610 23
11. Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m35.871s + 1.738 20
12. Loris Capirossi Pramac Racing Team 1m36.410s + 2.277 19
13. Hiroshi Aoyama San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m36.448s + 2.315 21
14. Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1m36.510s + 2.377 21
15. Toni Elias LCR Honda MotoGP 1m36.997s + 2.864 21
16. Hector Barbera Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP 1m37.036s + 2.903 18
17. Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 1m37.154s + 3.021 19