Newly crowned world champion Michael van der Mark was quickest by almost a second, ahead of Florian Marino and Lorenzo Zanetti with Jules Cluzel in fourth place.
Press releases previewing this weekend's season finale at Qatar from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams and series organizer:
With new technical regulations set to come into effect for the 2015 season in World Superbikes, the Superbike Commission has decided to lift its customary testing ban. Instead of testing being prohibited for the months of December and January, the World Superbike and World Supersport teams will be allowed to continue testing, with only a short break over the holiday period. Testing will no be banned from 21st December 2014 to 4th January 2015.
The change was made at the request of the teams. With the technical regulations undergoing a radical overhaul for the 2015 season, the teams felt they needed a lot more testing time to identify and fix problems with the new bikes. Extracting sufficient horsepower while maintaining reliability, to comply with the limited engine allocation, had been a major concern. The extended period gives the teams a little more time to prepare for the 2015 season.
The current change has only been made for the 2015 season. With the rules set to stabilize for the future, a test ban is likely to be reinstated for the winter of 2015/2016.
You can read the text of the press release announcing the change on the FIM website (PDF document).
The rain made for a challenging set of races today, with attrition and setup playing a large part in today's races, but mostly, they'll be remembered for one symbol:
Press releases from the series organizers and World Superbike and World Supersport teams after Sunday's drama-filled races at Magny-Cours:
Jules Cluzel wore comedy windscreen wiper glasses on the grid, reminding us that this would be a race on a wet track. Like the World Superbike race, this too was reduced, to seventeen laps.
Press releases from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying at Magny-Cours:
Qualifying for World Superbike's penultimate pair of races for 2014 took place today, and the French circuit of Magny-Cours, designed by the ubiquitous Hermann Tilke, had been resurfaced in places since last year, making the track a little bit quicker. Rain has been predicted as possible tomorrow, which would mean qualifying is merely an indicator of where everyone starts the race and not a prediction of pace.
Qualifying for the penultimate World Supersport race finally saw Cal Crutchlow's 2009 qualifying lap bettered.
Wild Card Lucas Mahias leads Michael van der Mark and Kenan Sofuoglu.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Magny-Cours:
Crowned champion Michael van der Mark continues to be the quickest rider at Magny-Cours. Wild card Lucas Mahias was again third-quickest, only behind Van der Mark and Roberto Tamburini this session.
Michael van der Mark opened the weekend ahead of Jack Kennedy and French wild card Lucas Mahais.
Press release previews from the World Superbike organizers and teams ahead of this weekend's penultimate round at Magny-Cours: