Leon Haslam claimed pole position in a crash-strewn Superpole 2 at Magny-Cours which was briefly red-flagged for Alex Lowes' accident.
The riders were up against it as Superpole got underway at the Magny-Cours circuit on Saturday. Not only did they have to contend with a downpour, lapping on a wet track for the first time this weekend, but also a new wet tyre that Pirelli debuted in France.
While it was the battle to take pole position that dominated proceedings, it was interspersed by several crashes.
Tom Sykes suffered a high-side at Turn 13 which was followed by Sylvain Guintoli going down at the exit of Turn 5. Chaz Davies added his name to the list at Turn 15 while Lowes briefly brought out the red flag when he crashed at Turn 3.
The Suzuki rider went down hard and was seen laying prone in the gravel. Thankfully he climbed to his feet unaided and was taken to the track's medical centre.
The session resumed with 2:46 on the clock and a mad dash for pole position.
That went to Haslam in a time of 1:56.404 and he did it despite being down in the gravel.
New World Champion Jonathan Rea was second, 0.004s off the pace, while Niccolo Canepa qualified third. He was half a second slower than Haslam.
Davies was fourth as he was not able to cross the line in time to put in a final flying lap while Guintoli was fifth ahead of Luca Scassa, who is replacing the injured Davide Giugliano at Aruba.it.
The Ducati rider and Leon Camier were the two who progressed through Superpole 1, finishing P6 and P7 respectively.
Ayrton Badovini, Tom Sykes and Marcus Reiterberger completed the top ten.
1 HASLAM Leon Aprilia RSV4 RF 1'56.404
2 REA Jonathan Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'56.408 0.004
3 CANEPA Niccolò Ducati Panigale R 1'56.912 0.508
4 DAVIES Chaz Ducati Panigale R 1'57.049 0.645
5 GUINTOLI Sylvain Honda CBR1000RR SP 1'57.839 1.435
6 SCASSA Luca Ducati Panigale R 1'57.991 1.587
7 CAMIER Leon MV Agusta F4 RR 1'59.768 3.364
8 BADOVINI Ayrton BMW S1000 RR 2'00.676 4.272
9 SYKES Tom Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'01.144 4.740
10 REITERBERGER Markus BMW S1000 RR 2'01.800 5.396
11 LOWES Alex Suzuki GSX-R1000 2'02.227 5.823
12 TORRES Jordi Aprilia RSV4 RF 2'02.379 5.975
13 BAIOCCO Matteo Ducati Panigale R 1'59.117
14 MERCADO Leandro Ducati Panigale R 1'59.446
15 VD MARK Michael Honda CBR1000RR SP 2'00.528
16 SZKOPEK Pawel Yamaha YZF R1 2'02.809
17 VIZZIELLO Gianluca Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'03.982
18 RAMOS Román Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'04.796
19 DE PUNIET Randy Suzuki GSX-R1000 2'06.621
20 SALOM David Kawasaki ZX-10R No time