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WorldSBK Magny-Cours: Britain's Smith leads WorldSSP on Friday

Britain's Kyle Smith (GMT94 Yamaha) mastered the wet conditions at Magny-Cours to go top of the times as he continues to stand in for the injured Jules Cluzel.

Times for the front of the field were faster in the second Free Practice session with Smith lapping the Magny-Cours circuit in 1’54.549s to go fastest after the two sessions, heading off the challenge from Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) by nearly a second.

Mahias bounced back from a crash at Turn 13 in Free Practice 1 to finished second overall for the day with the Kawasaki rider finishing just ahead of newly-crowned World Champion Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team); the Italian being pipped at the end of the second session by Smith and Mahias.


South African rider Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished the day in fourth place, despite a crash in Free Practice 2, after a strong showing in wet conditions as he finished ahead of Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team), with Manfredi the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider. Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) was sixth fastest overall for the day but had topped the opening Free Practice 1 session.

Hungarian Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) was seventh after both sessions with Karel Hanika (WRP Wepol Racing), Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) and Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) completing the top ten; de Rosa suffering from a crash at Turn 5 in Free Practice 2.

Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was classified in 11th place with Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) in 12th overall; Viñales was in the top five during FP1. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was 13th with Glenn van Straalen (MPM Routz Racing Team) and Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) rounding out the top 15; van Straalen having a crash late in Free Practice 2.

Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) and teammate Andy Verdoïa both suffered crashes during the day as they finished in 17th and 25th respectively, while Alejandro Ruiz Carranza (EMPERADOR Racing Team) had an off at the end of the session.

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