PTR Honda's Sam Lowes bagged a provisional front row for Sunday's World Supersport finale at Magny-Cours with team-mate Jules Clizel taking pole depsite a crash.
The Lincolnshire rider, who was quickest in mixed conditions this morning, ran off track during his fastest lap and had to settle for fourth on the grid but did a lot of work on the harder-compound tyre.
"The conditions weren't perfect and a bit in-between this morning but it was good to post the fastest time in the opening practice. In the qualifying we tried a new shock which I like but I need do to more laps on it tomorrow to understand it better," said Lowes.
"We've also worked a lot on the hard tyre today and it was a good day overall. I ran off the track on my fastest lap in the end but my ideal time would've put me in second so it's all good and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."