Jordi Torres set the fastest time, over half of a second ahead of the Kawasaki pairing of current world champion Jonathan Rea and former world champion Tom Sykes.
Press release previes from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams:
So at last it's official. "This will be my last year in MotoGP. I will be moving to World Superbikes next year with Honda and the Ten Kate team," Nicky Hayden told the press conference at Motegi. The move had been long expected, as Hayden's options of a competitive ride had petered out. "These last two years haven't been so good, I haven't been able to get the results on an Open Honda to really keep a high level bike in MotoGP," he acknowledged.
That had prompted his decision to finally move to World Superbikes. "I've always thought World Superbikes might be something I'd like to try, I've always liked the racing there," Hayden said. "The opportunity just felt like it would be a good fit. Obviously I'm getting a bit older, but I still enjoy the sport and the game, and thought it would be a fresh challenge and a new opportunity, to go there and try to have a bit more fun. Of course I'll miss MotoGP. I had a great opportunity here. Was part of some great teams and worked with some great people. But nothing lasts forever, and that's life. Have to keep moving. Go to Superbike with Honda and hopefully have some fun."
Honda issued the following press release on Nicky Hayden joining Michael van der Mark at Ten Kate Honda in World Superbikes next season. More on this story soon:
Honda announces 2016 World Superbike riders
Honda has today confirmed the team that will spearhead its campaign in the 2016 World Superbike championship on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. Current rider Michael van der Mark will be joined in the team by former MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden.
Hayden has been riding in MotoGP since 2003 when he joined the Repsol Honda team and the 34-year-old American has since gone on to start more than 200 Grands Prix, scoring 28 podiums and taking three wins. He won the MotoGP title with Honda in 2006.
His strong flat-track racing pedigree, which began at the age of three, eventually led him into road-racing and the young Hayden turned professional on his 16th birthday, halfway through the 1997 season. He won the AMA Supersport series with Honda two years later before turning to AMA Superbike in 2000. He became the youngest ever AMA Superbike champion, taking Honda’s VTR1000SP (RC51) to victory in 2002 at the age of 21.
Press releases from the series organizers and teams after Sunday's World Superbike round at Magny-Cours:
The last race of the day, only five minutes later than advertised, would be the full twenty one laps in the dry, most of the dampness having left the track.
The morning's wet warmup was red-flagged as Reiterberger spilled oil on the track. The race start was delayed and the race would be reduced to nineteen laps. In deference for the conditions, riders were shod in the new wet tyres, front and rear.
Press releases from the organizers and teams after qualifying at Magny-Cours:
A wet Superpole in France and all bets were off. Without a choice of tyres, everyone apparently getting the new wet weather Pirelli, we would not get the usual shift on a race tyre followed by a shift on a qualifying tyre as the better tactic is to just go out and get as many laps in fourteen minutes as possible.
Tom Sykes was quickest, ahead of Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies and Leon haslam, in this untimed session.
With nobody beating Jonathan Rea's quickest time from yesterday, Chaz Davies was quickest this morning, ahead of Rea, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes.
Superpole qualifying will have Luca Scassa and Matteo Baiocco as the two favourites in Superpole One to get promoted to Superpole Two. Impressive German wildcard Markus Reiterberger qualified for Superpole Two.
Press releases after the first day of practice at Magny-Cours:
Jonathan Rea was the only rider under the 1'38 mark, heading off Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes. Sylvain Guintoli, in front of his home crowd, was the only rider not to improve on his morning's time.
Tom Sykes leads the four riders under 1'39, comprising of Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies. The top eight all posted times under two thirds of a second off Sykes's fast time.