Italy’s Daniela Merighetti was second behind the Frenchwoman, who was also quickest on day two, with Anna Fenninger of Austria third.
British star Chemmy Alcott, in her first event since breaking her leg at the same venue two years ago, was 36th, with 53 women set to race on Friday.
Vonn’s team-mate Stacey Cook explained the American star’s absence.
"I had breakfast with her this morning and she seemed cheery and her normal self, so somewhere between breakfast and here I guess she wasn't feeling well," Cook said.
"She'll be ready for tomorrow, I know it. She'll make all of us look bad again."
Vonn hit headlines by going quicker than the men had in her first training session on Tuesday.
The American world champion has recently had a request to race with the men rejected by the FIS.
The first of two women’s downhills is scheduled for Friday, with a super-G set for Sunday.
Vonn won all three races last year.
Top 10 results:
1. ROLLAND Marion FRA 1:52.94
2. MERIGHETTI Daniela ITA 1:53.12
3. FENNINGER Anna AUT 1:53.35
4. COOK Stacey USA 1:53.42
5. MOSER Stefanie AUT 1:53.62
6. HOEFL-RIESCH Maria GER 1:53.64
7. MANCUSO Julia USA 1:53.71
8. REBENSBURG Viktoria GER 1:53.72
9. MAZE Tina SLO 1:53.94
10. GISIN Dominique SUI 1:53.98