Kawasaki’s outgoing former WorldSBK champion Tom Sykes closed the gap on team-mate and fastest man Jonathan Rea in the second free practice session at Magny-Cours while the works Ducati team struggled to stay in the top ten.

Sykes upped his pace to a 1’37.403 to cut his deficit to two-tenths of a second behind world champion-elect Rea while Lorenzo Savadori – like Sykes, looking for a ride next season – took his Milwaukee Aprilia to third place and only a further tenth in arrears.

Hometown hero Loris Baz jumped into fourth place on the combined timesheets with a few minutes left to go, lapping in 1’37.856 while Michael van der Mark took fifth place.

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