Marc Marquez in action during the Spanish Grand Prix. Photo: John Nazca/Reuters

LE MANS – World champion Marc Marquez topped the first free practice times on Friday ahead of Sunday's French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

The 25-year-old Honda rider leads the world championship standings after four races having won the last two GP.

He edged out Italian Andrea Dovizioso by just 25 thousandths of a second, with fellow Spaniard Maverick Vinales third at 0.067sec.

Veteran seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi was sixth fastest with another former world champion, Spain's Jorge Lorenzo eighth.

Surprisingly, Marquez's Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa could manage only 15th place, almost a second slower. The 32-year-old is still recovering from a broken wrist suffered during the Argentine GP last month. 

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First practice times:

1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 1min 32.476sec
2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) at 0.025sec
3. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 0.067
4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/LCR Honda) 0.258
5. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 0.279
6. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.301
7. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Suzuki) 0.443
8. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) 0.608
9. Bradley Smith (GBR/KTM) 0.681
10. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM) 0.769