Smith fastest in first French MotoGP practice
Repsol Honda Team's Spanish rider Alex Marquez (R) competes ahead of Esponsorama Racing French rider Johann Zarco (L) during free practice session prior to the MotoGP race of the French motorcycling Grand Prix in Le Mans. AFP
Bradley Smith topped the times in the first free practice for this weekend's French MotoGP, posting a best lap of 1min 43.804sec at a rain-soaked Le Mans.
Brith Smith finished 0.154sec ahead of Ducati Avintia's French rider Johann Zarco as the contenders raced conservatively in poor track conditions.
France has been hit by extreme weather over the past week, with floods in the south and storms in the west of the country causing havoc.
Championship leader and home hope Fabio Quartararo finished well over two seconds back in 18th, while Suzuki's Joan Mir, who is eight points behind the young Frenchman in the overall standings, was 1.176sec behind in 13th.
The second free practice round starts at 1210 GMT.
Times: from the first practice at the French MotoGP:
1. Bradley Smith (GBR/Aprilia) 1min 43.804sec, 2. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati/Avintia) at 0.154, 3. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 0.220, 4. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) 0.328, 5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.344, 6. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Suzuki) 0.376, 7. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 0.637, 8. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.707, 9. Cal Crutchlow (GRB/Honda-LCR) 0.850, 10. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM) 0.956
13. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) 1.176, 18. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) 2.690