Miller buries Jerez controversy with Le Mans top spot

Australia's Jack Miller, on a Honda, was the fastest man on the track as the French Grand Prix got off to a soggy start at Le Mans, burying the controversy of his Jerez crash in the process.

Australia's Jack Miller competes on his Estrella Galicia Marc VDS MOTOGP N°43, ahead of the French motorcycling Grand Prix, on May 19, 2017 in Le Mans
Australia's Jack Miller competes on his Estrella Galicia Marc VDS MOTOGP N°43, ahead of the French motorcycling Grand Prix, on May 19, 2017 in Le Mans (AFP)

Australia's Jack Miller, on a Honda, was the fastest man on the track as the French Grand Prix got off to a soggy start at Le Mans, burying the controversy of his Jerez crash in the process.

Miller was fined for pushing Alvaro Bautista in the Spanish race after both men crashed out.

"I am really happy to finish the first day here in Le Mans on top of the timesheets," said Miller.

"It was the perfect way to bounce back from the disappointment of Jerez and I’m happy because I was fast in all different kinds of conditions."

Italy's rider Valentino Rossi competes on his Movistar Yamaha MOTOGP N°46 during a MotoGP free practice session ahead of the French Motorcycle Grand Prix
Italy's rider Valentino Rossi competes on his Movistar Yamaha MOTOGP N°46 during a MotoGP free practice session ahead of the French Motorcycle Grand Prix (AFP)

However, world championship leader Valentino Rossi and his Yamaha teammate Maverick Vinales, who is second in the overall title race, endured a miserable opening practice.

Rossi was down in eighth place overall and Vinales in 10th after the two sessions, both more than three seconds off Miller's blistering pace of 1min 37.467.

French Grand Prix practice times:

1st session

1. Jack Miller (AUS/Honda) 1.37.467, 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 1.288, 3. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 1.781, 4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda) 2.140, 5. Loris Baz (FRA/Ducati) 2.960, 6. Karel Abraham (CZE/Ducati) 3.061, 7. Bradley Smith (GBR/KTM) 3.350, 8. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 3.427, 9. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Ducati Aspar) 3.357, 10. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 3.840, 11. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Suzuki) 4.095, 12. Jonas Folger (GER/Yamaha Tech3) 4.177, 13. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 4.387, 14. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 4.404, 15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 4.420, 16. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) 4.480

2nd session

1. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 1:41.673, 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) at 0.043, 3. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 0.233, 4. Scott Redding (GBR/Ducati) 0.252, 5. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Suzuki) 0.405, 6. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Ducati Aspar) 0.952, 7. Jack Miller (AUS/Honda) 1.056, 8. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1.221, 9. Sam Lowes (GBR/Aprilia) 1.325, 10. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 1.333, 11. Aleix Esparagaro (ESP/Aprilia) 1.504, 12. Loris Baz (FRA/Ducati) 1.577, 13. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda) 1.667, 14. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 2.504, 15. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) 2.603, 16. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA/Suzuki) 2.899

Selected:

21. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 4.131