The weather forecast for the first day of free practice for the French Grand Prix was correct and it started to rain today at the Le Mans circuit. The 45 minutes morning session started in fully wet conditions, but the new tarmac dried out quite quickly and Loris Baz was the first rider to make the change for Michelin slick tyres on his bike. The Reale Avintia Racing rider obviously improved his lap times to hold second place in the final minutes of the session. He finished within the top group of riders, showing once again that he is one of the best MotoGP riders in mixed conditions. In the afternoon, it didn’t stop raining throughout the session and Baz finished 12th overall.

It was not the best day for Hector Barbera, who came to Le Mans looking forward to confirm the positive feelings from the recent test at Jerez. The Spaniard did not use Michelin slick tyres in the morning and finished 21st. In the afternoon in fully wet conditions, he worked hard to find a better feeling, but to no avail. If the weather forecast is correct again and it stays dry tomorrow, the Reale Avintia Racing rider expects to confirm the progress achieved at Jerez.

“The first day here at Le Mans was good, even though the conditions were a bit strange. This morning, the track dried up and we were the first team to change for slick tyres. But we didn’t take a lot of risks, we just pushed enough in order to be within the fastest group for Q2, just in case it was going to rain in the afternoon and on Saturday morning again. All in all we did a good job. In the afternoon, we did many laps in the wet and we tried to improve the feeling with the bike, which aren’t as good as last year. We made a big step forward and I am happy with what we achieved. Now we have to wait and see if the track is dry tomorrow so we can prepare ourselves for the race on Sunday”.

“It was a difficult day. After the good feeling that I had during the test at Jerez, I didn’t expect these difficulties. Maybe it was due to the weather conditions that I didn’t find back to this feeling that we are looking for with the bike, because rain conditions always amplify this kind of problem. There is no doubt that I lacked feeling for the front end again and that I wasn’t able to push the way I would have liked to. In the morning, we didn’t change for slick tyres and we finished the session lower than usual in the classification, but in the wet afternoon session, my feeling wasn’t exactly great either. It looks as if it’s not going to rain tomorrow, which would be good for us. Our aim is to get the maximum out of each practice run and to recover the good feeling with our bike.”