Championship leader Stefan Bradl maintained his advantage in second practice for the Moto2 Grand Prix of France at Le Mans.

In a typically close session, the German set a time of 1:38.709, giving him a relatively comfortable advantage of 0.291s over Thomas Luthi. The Swiss rider was the closest challenger to Bradl in both sessions and will carry hopes of challenging for his first ever Moto2 pole position tomorrow. Luthi led the session for the most part, with his early time of 1:39.216 holding up until the final two minutes, when Andrea Iannone went 0.015s quicker.

Mere seconds after the Italian had taken top spot, Luthi hit back to go back ahead of his championship rival but another of the contenders, Simone Corsi beat them both on the Ioda Racing Project FTR.

As time expired though, Bradl put them all in their place with a lap four tenths quicker than anybody else before Luthi closed the gap on his final effort.

Corsi finished third while Jules Cluzel continued to impress at his home grand prix with fourth, 0.460 behind Bradl. Marc Marquez has plenty of work to do if he is to bring himself into world championship contention but the 125cc title holder is on the pace again this weekend. The Spaniard was sixth this afternoon.

Alex de Angelis was frustrated as traffic hindered him on one of his better laps but the JIR Moto2 rider was still quick enough for eighth with the elder Espargaro brother, Aleix, in ninth ahead of Julian Simon.

Scott Redding narrowly missed out on the top ten in eleventh, but was just 0.793s down on Bradl out front. Fellow Briton Bradley Smith was also within a second of pole position pace in 14th.

Fit-again Kev Coghlan had an excellent afternoon, going 26th on the Aeroport de Castello FTR. The Scotsman was only 1.618s away from Stefan Bradl and had experienced names such as Mike Di Meglio and Max Neukirchner behind him.

All 40 riders were within the 107% time which will apply in qualifying tomorrow, with wildcard riders Alex Cudlin and Steven Odendaal less than four seconds off the pace at the tail of the field.