Press releases previewing the upcoming French round of WorldSBK:
WorldSBK hits Magny-Cours: Re-writing the history books
There’s a lot on the line in France
It’s time for the MOTUL FIM Superbike Championship to head to the final European Round of the season, and it could be time to see Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) wrap up his fourth world title. Heading to the historic Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, the 4.4km track already holds a lot of history for Rea and could be the setting of even more. But is also a strong track for many of his rivals and it won’t be an easy ride, it will be a round to remember.
Gunning for the title this weekend, Rea can become the 2018 world champion on Saturday under a few circumstances; one of which seeing him win the race and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finishing in third. The Northern Irishman has a long history of racing in France, with seven podiums to his name – three of which he has stood on the top step. Riding at one with his ZX-10RR, Rea is seemingly on rails and at his most comfortable with the bike, so it will take a lot to stop him on Saturday. 2017 saw him win race one and finish off the podium in race two, what will 2018 bring?
The man standing in Rea’s way is Chaz Davies, who is still riding injured after he sustained a collarbone injury over the summer break. Putting on a superhuman performance last time out in Portugal to secure two fourth positions, it will be a big battle for him in France. But with the added rest, it won’t be a surprise to see him fighting at the sharp end this weekend. The 31 year old has a littered record in France, but with three wins in the last four races held here, he will be out to stop Rea taking the title.
Mathematically in with a chance of stopping Rea this weekend, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) could affect his title chances. The young Dutchman has had an impressive second season with his Yamaha team, and heads to a circuit which holds some special memories. But the only thing on van der Mark’s mind will be securing second position in the world championship standings. Pulling 10 points on Davies in Portugal, he sits 20 points off the runner-up spot, so with consistency in the final three rounds, it might not be so out of reach.
It’s set to be a homecoming for Frenchman Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) as he will make his first appearance around Magny-Cours for the first time since 2014. Competing in four WorldSBK races here in the past, he has a top five finish to his name and will be hoping to repeat that this weekend. Gradually making steps with his BMW, his return to WorldSBK has been a steady one but with the boost of the home support, he will be worth keeping an eye on.
Fresh off the back of a tough round for the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team in Portugal, there was one man in the garage who was happier, as Jake Gagne put in a strong performance at a circuit he had four days testing around. Returning to Magny-Cours this weekend, it will be interesting to see how the American performs. Racing here last season in only his second race in WorldSBK; the knowledge of the track will help him to improve his pace with the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. A 12th position here in 2017, and two top 13’s in Portugal puts him in a strong position this weekend.
Poleman from Portugal, Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) suffered even more bad luck throughout the weekend at a track he is so familiar with. Starting from pole after a sensational lap, he was then taken out on the opening lap of race one and struggled with tyres in race two. But putting this behind him, the Irish rider heads to France hoping to put on strong show for the final European round of the season. Out of ten race starts at Magny-Cours, Laverty has taken three podium finishes and a top six last year. Continuing to search for the rear feeling they secured in America, it will be another busy weekend for Laverty.
Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) has become a busy man in recent weeks, with the Spaniard stepping in for Tito Rabat over in MotoGP™, meaning he went straight from Portugal to the Aragon GP, before then coming back to France. It was a positive round last time out for Torres, who made some big steps in the official test with his team, and he put in some strong performances. Struggling to get above the top 8 in France in the past, it’s been a strong circuit for his team – who secured top sixes last season – so he will be pulling out all the stops this weekend.
Don’t miss out on history in the making at the Acerbis French Round from 28th – 30th October, with FP1 kicking off at 09.45LT (+1 GMT), before Superpole action on Saturday at 10.30. All eyes will be on race one at 13.00LT on Saturday, as Sunday’s revised schedule welcomes race two as the final race of the day once again at 15.15LT.
France Offers Rea Title Chance
As KRT duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes head to Magny Cours for the 11th round of the FIM Superbike World Championship in a few days time it will offer up the first chance of the season for Rea to clinch what would be a historic fourth consecutive championship with Kawasaki.
After his most recent double win on the Ninja ZX-10RR, at Portimao in Portugal, Rea raised his points advantage to 116 over his nearest competitor. If results for Rea and his rivals dictate it, Jonathan could leave France as champion for the fourth time in succession. It is even possible to close-out the title after race one at Magny Cours - if he grows his advantage to 125 points or more on Saturday, with five individual races left to run.
Only the legendary Carl Fogarty has recorded four WorldSBK championship wins but Rea has already surpassed his fellow Briton’s all-time race-winning total in WorldSBK, lifting it 66 in Portugal. No rider has taken four titles in succession.
Rea arrives in France in truly sparkling form, having won all six of the most recent races and 12 in total since the start of the season.
Tom Sykes, the 2013 champion with Kawasaki, is looking to get back to his very best form and record his first podium since round seven, and ideally his first win since Assen in April.
After suffering a sports injury in the summer break and missing valuable testing time as a result, Sykes will arrive in Magny Cours in better physical condition than he enjoyed in Portugal last time out. He is currently overall fourth in the championship.
In all, Ninja ZX-10RR riders have scored 24 podium places so far in 2018, results that have contributed to Kawasaki’s 73-point advantage at the top of the Manufacturers’ Standings. Kawasaki could win the Manufacturers’ Championship in France, if the combined results from Saturday and Sunday’s races give the Japanese manufacturer an advantage of 100 points or more.
Magny Cours has usually occupied a late season place on the WorldSBK calendar and as a result has been the deciding venue for many championship challenges in the past. Jonathan and Tom have won three races apiece on Kawasaki machinery at Magny Cours during their careers and the French circuit was the site of Rea’s 2017 championship-clinching performance.
At 4.411km long Magny Cours contains 17 corners, some of which are slow hairpins approached after extremely heavy braking sections, providing multiple overtaking opportunities. The undulations and gradient changes play a major part in the visual spectacle, at a circuit that is traditionally well attended on WorldSBK weekends.
First season WorldSBK regular Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) has already netted a podium finish in 2018, at Donington Park. Toprak is second in the independent riders’ rankings and ninth overall.
Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki), Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) and Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) will continue their own championship campaigns in France this coming weekend. Of those three Mercado is the best placed in the championship table, in 15th.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really excited to go to Magny Cours, especially after the last races where our bike and package has been really strong. I have incredible memories from last year and this weekend marks the first opportunity we have to try to clinch a world championship. But, I am trying to put that to the back of my mind and attack the weekend like every other weekend – work methodically with my family, all the team and our bike to find the best race set-up we can. The weather forecast looks like it is going to be stable throughout the weekend. The target is simple, like at Portimao and the last few rounds, to go out and try to win two races.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “I am ready to go racing and I am expecting my physical condition to be better than it was last time. Magny Cours is a good circuit, which provides some big braking areas. I have had good results there in the past and I would like to be looking for a strong result there. In general it provides good racing because it has a log straight with passing opportunity at the end of it so it is generally nice for the spectators. The French fans definitely do get involved and there is a good atmosphere, which makes it an enjoyable round – especially if you get good weather.”
Last round in Europe for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team: Davies and Melandri ready to tackle Magny Cours
After returning to the track in strong fashion at Portimão (Portugal), with Marco Melandri twice on the podium and Chaz Davies fourth in both races despite a fractured collarbone, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is determined to collect even more prestigious results at Magny Cours (France), home of the 11th round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship and last European race ahead of the final outing in Argentina and Qatar.
Davies is keen to consolidate second position in the championship by increasing his 20-point lead. Melandri, on the other hand, is determined to confirm his recent form to climb back to fourth in the championship. The Magny Cours round will also be the last one of the year for the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team, which competed in all European rounds with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who showed a steady growth and finished first among "Independent" riders in four occasions so far. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action Friday, September 28, at 09:45 (CET) for the first free-practice session.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7)
"We've done well at Magny Cours in the past couple of years. We always had a good pace, winning three races out of four. I enjoy the track, it's quite basic but also technical, with a lot of tight turns. It forces you to push more each lap, trying to turn quicker or brake deeper, and it presents different challenges compared with most other circuits on the calendar. Physically, I'm feeling a bit better, stronger and with less pain compared with Portimão. In the last few days the collarbone hasn't given me any trouble in day-to-day activities, so I hope the weather stays consistent and we'll try to get the most out of our time on track."
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33)
"We head to Magny Cours with good momentum. We worked well at Portimão, finding the right feeling with the bike quickly, and I personally like the track a lot. Despite being mostly flat, its layout makes it challenging and fun. There are many changes of rhythm and a good mix of fast and slow corners, so it's really complete in general. It looks like the weather will be stable, with warm temperatures in the day. I hope we don't struggle with the gearbox ratio because, if start it off on the right foot, we're going to have some fun!"
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21)
"We approach this final round as another chance to shine and finish on a high note. Clearly we would have liked to ride in each race, I'd have done 10 more without even thinking about it, but the most important thing is that I had a chance to grow with the team, both on a personal and professional level. Challenging stronger opponents made me a better rider, but I don't want to stop here. The track itself is technically not the best for us, but we already improved our stats in Portimão and we want to continue on this path at Magny Cours."
Van der Mark and Lowes Target the Podium in Magny-Cours
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team pairing of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes head into Round 11 of the FIM World Superbike Championship at Circuit de Nevers in Magny-Cours with their sights set firmly on the podium. Van der Mark travels to France off the back of a successful weekend last time out in Portimão, where the 25-year-old added two more podium finishes to his tally with third place in Race 1 and second place in Race 2. Lowes, who endured two challenging races in Portugal, is keen to bounce back with two good results this weekend in Magny-Cours, where he finished on the podium twelve months ago.
Currently third in the championship with 284 points, van der Mark heads into the final European race weekend of the 2018 season riding a wave of confidence. With three podium finishes in as many races, the Pata Yamaha rider now lies just 20 points off second place in the standings, a gap he's determined to reduce further as he targets the podium once again this weekend in Magny-Cours.
Lowes finished in the points in both races in Portugal, but was left frustrated having been unable to find a set up on his Yamaha YZF-R1 that inspired confidence. The Pata Yamaha rider heads to France confident that he'll have no such problems this weekend and that he'll be on the pace and able to challenge for the podium once again in Magny-Cours, a circuit that suits well his fast and aggressive riding style and one at which he's enjoyed success in the past.
The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is located in central France, 250km south of Paris. The track was originally built back in 1960 but has been revamped a number of times, most recently in 2003. It is 4.411km long, consists of 17 corners - nine rights and eight lefts - and has a start/finish straight just 250m in length. Most of the corners are modelled on famous turns from other tracks and bear the names of the circuits that inspired them. The layout combines a mix of slow, technical hairpins and high-speed chicanes with hardly any elevation changes.
The weather, specifically the rain, has played a significant part in proceedings at the 4.4km Magny-Cours track in recent years but the weather forecast promises warm and dry conditions this weekend, with temperatures predicted to be in the high 20s on all three days.
The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team will take to the track on Friday morning at 09:45 local time for Free Practice 1, with Saturday's qualifying starting at 10:30 and Race 1 at 13:00 pm. Sunday's Race 2 is scheduled to get underway at 15.15.
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 3rd - 284 Points
"After a successful weekend in Portimão, with a podium finish in both races, I'm keen to get back on track this weekend in Magny-Cours. With the improvements we've made to the Yamaha YZF-R1 since the test in Portimão back in August, I believe we can be up there and fighting for the podium again in France. Of course, it's not just the podium that's the target, I hope that we will also be able to fight for the win, because Donington Park seems such a long time ago now. Everyone in the team is extremely motivated and I'm confident we can finish the last European race weekend of the season with two strong results."
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 6th - 204 Points
"After what was a pretty tough weekend in Portimão I'm looking forward to getting back on track this weekend in Magny-Cours, a track at which I've ridden well and finished on the podium in the past. It's a technical track with lots of changes of direction, but my favourite part is the fast first sector. The approach this weekend will be a bit different; I want to enjoy the racing but my target is to fight once again for a podium finish in both races."
Magny-Cours awaits the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours, France
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team heads to France’s Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours this weekend and is targeting a return to form at the final European round of the 2018 season.
After a challenging round last time out at Portimão, Leon Camier and Jake Gagne are aiming for more consistent performance on their CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines in France.
Camier is a fan of the French circuit and after some notable performances there in recent years, the Briton is confident of a resurgence this weekend. Gagne is also in high spirits as the American has shown strong race pace and has prior track experience of Magny-Cours after being drafted into the team for the French round last season
Magny-Cours is defined by a mix of slow hairpin corners and quicker chicanes and sweeping corners. Overtaking opportunities aren’t as widespread as at some other circuits, although the Adelaide hairpin after the very fast first sector is one prime overtaking spot.
The eleventh round of the WorldSBK championship commences with Free Practice 1 at 0945 local time (GMT +2) on Friday. Race 1 will start at 1300 local time on Saturday, while Race 2 on Sunday kicks off at 1515.
Leon Camier 2
I'm looking forward to Magny-Cours, the last European round for this season. The team and I have looked over everything from the last round and we've come up with some good ideas to get some speed back, we're all pushing to find the form we had earlier in the season. I like the Magny-Cours circuit, I've gone well there in the past so the aim is to come back stronger this weekend.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne 45
After a good weekend in Portugal I’m excited to get rolling to France. It’ll be an easier start for us having the time and data from last years wild card to build off and we’ve started making some good progress after the summer break so I hope to keep it going. The crew has been working really hard so I think we can make another step forward. Magny-Cours is a unique and tricky track so I am looking forward to getting back!
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
We'll be looking to regroup at Magny-Cours after what was a tough round at Portimão. We've done our homework since the last round, analysing the data and talking to the riders to give ourselves a proper base setting for this weekend. The weather forecast for now is quite stable, but traditionally the weather can be quite variable at Magny-Cours which adds to the challenge at this technical track. Leon, Jake and the whole team know there is more performance with the CBR1000RR than we've been able to show recently, so we're all motivated to get out there this weekend and show what we can do.
Gulf Althea BMW rider Loris Baz prepares for his home round
Rome (Italy), Tuesday 25 September 2018
The Gulf Althea BMW team travels in the direction of France, and the ‘Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours’, for round eleven of the 2018 Superbike world championship.
This is rider Loris Baz’s home race, the Sallanches native keen to do well in front of the local crowd. Four years have passed since Baz last raced a Superbike at the Magny-Cours track, his best result on that occasion a fifth-place finish in race 1. Young Italian Stock1000 rider Alessandro Delbianco, in his first year in an international race series, has no experience of the French circuit.
Ten days ago, the Italian team was at Portimao, where Baz scored sixth place in the opening Superbike race, while Delbianco crossed the line eighth in the Stock1000 race.
With ten rounds of the championship already completed, Baz lies tenth in the general standings with 103 points. Delbianco now places eighth in the Stock1000 championship with 45 points scored thus far.
"I’m looking forward to the French round, as it’s always special to race at home. I haven’t ridden at Magny-Cours for a long time but it’s a great track. Having said that, I’m doing a rain dance because a little wet weather would actually help us. I’m pleased to head there following a strong event at Portimao, and we hope to finish the European part of the championship as well as possible.”
“Magny-Cours should be a great track, I think I’ll like it considering all the hard braking points. I’ve been playing with the Playstation to get some idea of the layout, a track I’ve not ridden at before. I’m pleased to head Magny-Cours, but I’m just sorry it’s already the last round of the championship. We’ll try to do as well as possible at this final event of the season…”
Manufactures Profiles from Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
Have a read of teams history around the French circuit ahead of the weekend
Aprilia have won three times at Magny-Cours, first with Max Biaggi in the second 2010 race and a double 1-2 in 2014, when Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli swapped wins. Last year the best results for Aprilia were scored by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Leandro Mercado as they both finished sixth, respectively in Race 1 and Race 2.
BMW have secured two podium finishes at Magny-Cours. These came as Leon Haslam was third in the first 2011 Race, while Marco Melandri was the runner up the following year, both in race one. The Italian didn't have the speed to challenge Sylvain Guintoli, who pulled away with his Ducati. Last year the best result for BMW at this track was an eighth from Jordi Torres in Race 2. Torres had also been the best BMW rider the year before with a seventh in Race 2.
The 16 wins secured by Ducati represent half of the races run at Magny-Cours, and the last three were won by Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) with a double in 2016 and Race 2 last year. Ducati leads also the podiums ranking here with 36 bikes on the podium, followed by Yamaha at 16 and Kawasaki at 14. All these amazing results contrast with the fact that Ducati claimed only one pole here, in 2003 with James Toseland.
Honda have won twice here, the first time in 2005 when Chris Vermeulen won from pole in Race 1 and the second time the following year, when James Toseland won Race 1. Since that last win, Honda climbed on the podium seven times at Magny-Cours, five of these being third positions. The last time a Honda rider stood on the Magny-Cours podium was in 2016, which was a second position secured by Michael van der Mark in Race 1. Last year their best result was an eighth with Davide Giugliano in Race 1. They had their share of bad luck, as Jonathan Rea fell on two separate occasions from the lead, in 2012 race 1 and in 2014 in race 2.
Kawasaki have won six times at Magny-Cours and they opened their account here in 2012’s Race 2 with Tom Sykes, who went on to record a double the following year. Another double came from Rea in 2015, with the champion also winning Race 1 last year. Race 2 last year was left without Kawasakis on the podium as Rea crashed after a contact with Laverty and Tom Sykes managed a seventh, blaming his tyre choice. In the last 6 qualifying sessions here, the best Kawasaki on the grid was either on pole (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) or second (2015).
Yamaha have won five times at Magny-Cours, the last win coming in 2010 from pole in Race 1 (Cal Crutchlow). Last year they were able to add two podiums to their tally, as Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) was 2nd and van der Mark 3rd in Race 2. Yamaha have stood on the podium 16 times here, the second highest podium tally at the track after the 36 from Ducati.
MV Agusta recorded their best WorldSBK result of fourth just six times in history, two of them here in Magny-Cours with Leon Camier, who secured them in Race 2, 2016 and Race 1 last year.
WorldSSP: Out for vengeance
Six championship contenders and emotions are running high
The FIM Supersport World Championship is renowned for its sensational racing and high levels of drama, but no one could have predicted what would happen last time out in Portugal. From the outside, it seems that Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) took his second consecutive victory and his championship rivals had a tough race, but that was far from the case. Now heading to France for the final European round of the season there is a lot on the line for the top six championship fighters, and the battle will be one worth watching.
Sensational rookie Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) now has a 16 point lead in the standings after a heroic comeback in Portugal. Coming together with his main title rival Jules Cluzel (NRT) on the opening lap of the race, the fight was on as he got back on his Yamaha and fought through the field to redeem as many points as possible. With a sensational display of racing action, the German rider was able to get up to sixth position over 15 laps, but took fifth in the overall result. Now heading to another unknown circuit, will he keep a calm head? It remains to be seen.
Putting the championship fight to the back of his mind, Cluzel is still suffering heartbreak from Portugal as he was unable to rejoin the race after being the victim of a crash with Cortese. Losing a handful of points on Cortese, which is pivotal at this time of the year, he will head to his home round with winning on his mind. Out of four WorldSSP appearances here in Magny-Cours, the Frenchman has won three times meaning he will certainly be the main target this season. But keeping a cool head will be key to a strong weekend.
After a steady start to the season, the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team have catapulted to the front of the field in recent races. Caricasulo is fresh off the back of two back to back race wins and is now well and truly back in the championship fight – 20 points off the top. But the Italian has a lot of work to do if he wants to get the title, and with a sixth and a second position secured at Magny in the past, he will be searching for those final updates.
Whilst on the other side of the garage, Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) experienced heartache in Portugal as he led his first race since Imola and was showing everyone he was back to his best. But tyre woes forced him to end his race one lap early, and the reigning champion thought his race was run. But he was thrown a final lifeline as a red flag on the final lap meant he had the chance to get back to pit lane before the five minute time limit and take the win. In a sensational lap, heartbreak fell on the team as he cut the final corner of the lap, meaning he was ruled him out of contention and therefore meant he scored no points. With a third and a fourth secured in front of his home fans in the past, he will certainly be out for revenge with the support of the French behind him.
Whilst Rafaelle de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) continues to put on a sensational show for the Italian manufacturer, taking his sixth podium finish in a row but still missing out on that fight for the win. Despite a tough record in France in the past, he will be searching for the seventh podium in a row.
Follow all the sensational WorldSSP action from Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours from 28th – 30th September with the build up throughout the weekend, ahead of the race kicking off at 13.45LT on Sunday.
GRT Yamaha Ready to Fight for the Championship in Magny-Cours
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are back in action this weekend for Round 10 of the FIM World Supersport Championship at Circuit de Nevers in Magny-Cours, France. Federico Caricasulo heads into the weekend off the back of two consecutive race wins and with his sights set firmly on the World Championship title. For Lucas Mahias the Magny-Cours race is an opportunity to get his championship campaign back on track in front of his home crowd, after missing out on points in Portimão, where he was disqualified for a track limits infraction after the race had been red flagged. Alfonso Coppola heads to France keen to repeat the success of Portimão, where he finished the race as the highest placed European Supersport Cup rider.
All three GRT Yamaha riders will be hoping for a slightly less dramatic weekend in Magny-Cours than they experienced last time out in Portugal. Mahias looked all set to claim his second victory of the season as the race drew to a close in Portimão, with Caricasulo secure in second place. A rear tyre failure for Mahias followed by disqualification from the results after the race was red flagged, saw the victory handed to the reigning World Champion's GRT Yamaha teammate, Caricasulo.
The 25 points for the race win, Caricasulo's second in succession, saw the Italian move up the championship standings to third place, just 20 points behind series leader and fellow Yamaha rider Sandro Cortese. With just three races remaining this season, t's a gap that Caricasulo is determined to close further with another strong result at Magny-Cours this weekend.
Mahias will be guaranteed strong support from a partisan French crowd for his home race in Magny-Cours; the circuit at which he secured his first ever WorldSSP podium finish back in 2015. The reigning World Champion has slipped to fifth in the series standings as a result of a crash in Misano and the disqualification in Portimão, a situation he's keen to rectify with a return to race winning form in France.
Alfonso Coppola rescued what had been a difficult weekend in Portimão with an outstanding performance in the race, which he finished as the top European Supersport Cup rider in 18th place. The Italian youngster is determined to try and replicate that success this weekend in Magny-Cours, the final round of the European Supersport Cup.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 3rd - 129 Points
"Two wins in as many races for me means that the title fight is much closer as the season draws to a close and I head to Magny-Cours third in the championship and just 20 points from the top of the standings. I am looking forward to the weekend ahead, as the circuit is one I like and one that I think will suit well our Yamaha YZF-R6. With the championship now to be decided over just three more races, it is imperative that we secure a good result this weekend and close the gap to the top of the standings even further."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 6th - 103 Points
"Overall Portimão was a really good weekend for me. I was fast in every session and had a commanding lead in the race until the penultimate lap when the rear tyre let me down. While the final result was bitterly disappointing, we can take confidence from the pace and consistency we showed in Portimão. This weekend is a big one. Firstly it's my home race, which is always special, and secondly it's at a track that holds good memories for me, as it was here that I secured my first ever WorldSSP podium finish. I'm ready to go, the weather looks like it will be perfect and I'm looking forward to giving the French fans something to cheer about this weekend."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 31st - 2 Points
"While this will be my last appearance this season because it's the final round of the European Supersport Cup. I'm happy it will be at a Magny-Cours, as this is one of my favourite circuits. I am fully motivated for the weekend ahead. It's been a steep learning curve for me this year and it would be good to sign off my debut season in this class with a good result this weekend in France."
GRT Yamaha Offical WorldSSP Team Manager
"We left Portimão after a good weekend for the whole team. Federico took his second win in succession, which was extremely important for the championship. Although Lucas left Portugal with no points after the disqualification, which he didn't deserve, he showed good pace and consistency throughout the weekend and was clearly the fastest rider. It means we are now in a very strong position and fully motivated to fight for the championship title in the final three races of the season, starting this weekend in Magny-Cours. Federico heads to France with some confidence given his recent form and we know that Lucas will want to win in front of his home crowd, so I'm confident we will see both riders fighting at the front this weekend. This will be the last race of the season for Alfonso, as Magny-Cours is the final round of the European Supersport Cup. He has learnt a lot this year; he has improved with every race and he is fully motivated to end his rookie season with another strong performance this weekend."
Opportunity Awaits For Okubo And Barbera
The 2018 WorldSSP championship moves from Portugal to France this weekend, with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team riders Hector Barbera and Hikari Okubo looking to put in season-best performances.
The final European-based round of the 2018 season, before the last two races in Argentina and Qatar, will take place around the long-established WorldSSP venue of Magny Cours, located in central France.
Magny Cours will be a new track for Barbera to face this weekend, in what will be only his second WorldSSP race after joining the team in the summer break. He finished a creditable tenth in his first competitive weekend at Portimao, despite making a less than ideal tyre choice for the race. He is 23rd in the championship right now, with three more points scoring opportunities up for grabs.
Okubo was the top Kawasaki rider at Portimao and as a result he sits 15th in the championship overall. His aim this weekend is to qualify well and then take away his best result since he joined Kawasaki this season. His best placement so far in 2018 is ninth, which he has recorded at the two most recent races in Misano and Portimao.
With the European sector of the overall campaign terminating at Magny Cours this weekend, the championship will now head to the all-new El Villicum Circuit in Argentina for round 11, to be held between the 12th and the 14th of October.
Hikari Okubo, stated: “I took a good feeling away from Portuguese round last time we raced. For sure I was not happy with the final race result but it was a very important finish. I like the Magny Cours track so I think we can do some good work again this weekend. I want get my best result of the season so far in France and I think that is a possibility.”
Hector Barbera stated: “I feel ready for this race. After the experience I had at Portimao, now we are not really starting from zero anymore. I am confident it will be a good weekend. I am really keen to ride at Magny Cours, which is a new track for me. I can’t wait to be back on my new bike again. I hope the weather will be nice since, at this time of year in France, it is famous for not always having good weather. But even in the rain I have always been strong, so I am positive!”
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) remains 14th overall and continues to lead the FIM Europe Supersport Cup standings. This is a class-within-a-class designed for riders who only compete in the European-based rounds of the championship.
Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) is now 32nd in the WorldSSP standings at present. Christian Stange and Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) will join another regular rider, Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) at Magny Cours. Stange scored his first two championship points at Portimao, and is 30th overall.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda confident ahead of Magny-Cours
Posted on 26th September 2018
The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is the venue for round ten of the FIM Supersport World Championship this weekend and with his first podium finish of the year secured last time out in Portugal, CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Kyle Smith is looking to keep the momentum going at the Acerbis French round.
Smith said: “I’m very eager for the next round after a strong finish in Portugal. Hopefully we can carry on working in the same direction and keep the results coming.”
Teammate Hungarian Peter Sebestyen is also keen to capitalise on lessons identified two weeks ago in Portugal and is ready to challenge for points at the last European round of 2018.
Sebestyen said: “After Portimão I’m really motivated. It was a very difficult weekend for me but also a good lesson. Now I understand how I should work more professionally and build up a race weekend. Magny-Cours is a track I like so much because of its tricky conditions, I had some great results there. I can’t wait to sit on my Honda again to improve my riding style and get those points I missed in Portimão. I’ve had experience with the bike in heat with hot tyres, now I will see how it works in cooler temperatures. I’m really curious about it but also calm because the team is very professional and can always react to the new conditions and give me the best advice.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “We go to Magny-Cours this weekend in a really buoyant mood after a tremendous result in Portimão where we showed proper race pace. We still need to do a bit for a better qualifying to make the job easier for us although Kyle did make a good start. That’s an improvement for him, he’s been practicing starts so if we can improve qualifying as well and maintain our race performance there is no reason why we can’t challenge at the front again in France and for the remaining two races of the season especially as we know Kyle is very strong in Qatar and Argentina is new to everyone. So we are in a very confident frame of mind going into this event, we hope to improve more with our new MecTronik electronic system and concentrate on every other area of the bike as we always do.”
“Peter Sebestyen showed fantastic performance without the benefit of testing in his first race at Misano finishing just outside the points. In his second race at Portimão he was in the points and points were there to be had, obviously he would have inherited more even if he’d not overtaken anyone else but I think he just rushed it a bit. An expression I always use is ‘never allow passion to overtake cool calm thinking’, he needs to work on that this weekend and get those result and points finishes to put us all in a good position to look toward 2019 together. We are confident we will deliver the package that Peter needs to showcase his potential ahead of 2019, he just needs to remain focused and concentrate to deliver the results that we all know he is capable of.”
World Supersport action kicks off at Magny-Cours with Free Practice One on Friday at 10:40hrs (local time).
WorldSSP300: Four riders, twelve laps, one crown
Carrasco, Deroue, Perez and Grunwald all reach season finale as contenders
The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours hosts the grand finale to this season’s FIM Supersport 300 World Championship after what has been a tantalizingly close championship race, ending with four riders eligible to take the title. In the seven previous races we’ve had six different race winners and thirteen riders on the podium. Most importantly, four of those riders can still take the title back home in what promises to be twelve laps of nerve wrenching excitement.
Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) remains in control of the championship standings with a ten point advantage, however that same lead has shrunk after every round since her extraordinary Donington Park win. The Spanish rider missed a first chance to write her name in the history books at Portimao, where she could only cross the line in eleventh position (reviewed to tenth after Sanchez’s penalty). Third time lucky will not be an option for Carrasco: it’s all or nothing at Magny-Cours for the WorldSSP300 trailblazer.
Few riders left Algarve happier than Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) and fewer still with as much momentum. After a string of bad results and awful luck, the Nolan Portuguese Round seemed to mark a change in fortunes for the Dutchman: he dominated proceedings at Portimao and stands just ten points behind Carrasco. Last season his title challenge fell apart at Magny-Cours – will the 2018 Acerbis French Round bring redemption for Deroue?
Mika Pérez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) is yet to win a race this season, yet through sheer perseverance and showing the consistency of a champion he finds himself eighteen points behind Carrasco with one round to go. He’s finished second in the last two races and whilst his options are slim, have no doubt that the youngest of the four contenders will give it his all until the checkered flag.
Fourth in the title chase is Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), 22 points behind the leader. The KTM rider was unfortunate at Portimao, crashing in the final laps following an incident with another rider and leaving the seventh round of the season with no points, after battling inside the front group. It might take a minor miracle now for the German to win the championship, but if we know one thing for certain it’s that nothing is certain in WorldSSP300 until the checkered flag comes down.
Find out who can take the crown at 12.40LT (+1 GMT), and enjoy the 12 lap thriller from Magny-Cours.
bLU cRU Crew Ready for Season Finale in Magny-Cours
After a difficult weekend last time out in Portimão, the four bLU cRU riders head this week to France and the Circuit de Nevers in Magny-Cours determined to end their seasons on a high with a strong showing in the final round of the 2018 FIM World Supersport 300 Championship.
Despite a technical problem bringing his race in Portimão to a premature end, Galang Hendra Pratama (Yamaha Pata | Semakin di Depan | Biblion Motoxracing Team) still leads the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge by a significant margin. The Indonesian rider currently lies seventh in the championship with 52 points, but with things so close at the top of the series standings a good result this weekend in France could see the young Indonesian rider finish his season with a top five position in the championship.
Luca Bernardi (Yamaha Pata | Trasimeno Team) was another rider who left Portimão with no points, following a crash just two laps from the end of the race. The Italian heads to the final race in Magny-Cours determined to rediscover the form that saw him finish fourth in Misano, as he looks to add to the 19 championship points he's accrued so far this season and improve on his 19th position in the series standings.
Hugo de Cancellis (Yamaha Pata | Toth - YART Team) was the highest placed bLU cRU rider in the Portimao race, but missed out on points with 22nd place after being forced off track on the opening lap. The Frenchman currently lies 32nd in the championship standings with 2 points, a total he's keen to add to with a points scoring finish in the final race of the season in Magny-Cours this weekend.
Dennis Koopman (Yamaha Pata | Semakin di Depan | GRT Team) endured a difficult weekend in Portugal, where he finished the race in 36th position having struggled to find a set up on his YZF-R3 to suit the technical and demanding Portimão circuit. The Dutch youngster currently lies 31st in the championship standings with 3 points but heads into the final race in Magny-Cours determined to add to his points tally with a strong performance.
Yamaha Motor Europe bLU cRU Racing Manager
"The Portimão race was a difficult one, but it's behind us and now the focus for the whole bLu cRU squad is on securing good results in the final race of the season. Magny-Cours is another new track for most of the riders, but I am confident that they all now have the experience to adapt quickly to the layout of this circuit. This year all of the bLU cRU riders have learnt a lot about strategy, bike set up and the mentality required to race and now they need to put all of this into practice this weekend. I'm confident that we will see the bLu cRU riders back at the front of the race again here in Magny-Cours."
10 things you need to know before the Acerbis French Round
Have a read of the stats before the final European Round of the season
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) recorded his 20th career double in Portimao: he is the first rider to reach this goal in WorldSBK history. Rea recorded his sixth win in a row, and in Magny-Cours he is in the position to attack the third and fourth all time sequences of wins.
2. With a healthy lead of 116 points over the only two riders in contention for the title: Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and 136 over Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Rea has the first chance to clinch his fourth title in Magny Cours Race 1. Magny Cours is the track which gave Rea his third title last year in Race 1.
3. Rea is set for his 99th and 100th race for Kawasaki in Magny Cours. So far he has won 51 races and climbed on the podium 87 times for the Japanese manufacturer.
4. Rea has another all time record in sight. His podium tally is now 129 which is only one short of the record of Troy Corser, who set the bar at 130 on the first Race in Misano, 2010.
5. Ducati have won exactly half of the races run in Magny-Cours: 16 out of 32.
6. Despite recording 16 wins at this track, a Ducati bike has qualified from pole only in the 2003 weekend, when James Toseland recorded his maiden WorldSBK pole.
7. The most successful rider here is Noriyuki Haga, with five wins from 2004 to 2009. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Rea and Davies are all in the position to equal him this year, but they have to record a double to do it.
8. Last year Chaz Davies recorded a remarkable feat as he won Race 2 from the 11th grid spot, the only win coming outside the top 10 grid spots here.
9. In the last eight years, only British riders have qualified for pole in Magny-Cours: Cal Crutchlow (2010), Jonathan Rea (2011, 2016, 2017), Tom Sykes (2012 to 2014) and Leon Haslam (2015).
10. Only two riders amongst the current ones have started from pole here: Kawasaki duo of Tom Sykes (2012, 2013, 2014) and Jonathan Rea (2011, 2016, 2017).
Magny-Cours prepares for a fan orientated weekend of action
French WorldSBK is ready for a thriller
Gear up for the French WorldSBK round in style this weekend, as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship hits Nevers with a bang. Starting the weekend off by keeping fans right at the heart of the action, with an open paddock on Thursday afternoon as eager fans can get the first glimpse of action with no ticket needed. Whilst children under 16 will have free access to the track all weekend when accompanied by an adult.
Don’t miss out on the unique Paddock Show, which is bigger than ever before. Not only does Saturday offer the SuperShow with all riders from WorldSBK, WorldSSP, WorldSSP300 and STK100 on stage ready to meet and greet fans. But for 2018 we also welcome the all new Race Shows, where riders take to the stage on Saturday and Sunday just minutes after basking in the glory of their victory on the podium. Fans now get the opportunity to hear first hand from their racing heroes thanks to the Paddock Show.
As Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is hosting the final European round of the season, Sunday will also welcome the European Champions Prize Giving Show. Hosting the champions fresh from taking the WorldSSP300, STK100 and ESS crowns, fans will have the opportunity to celebrate with the 2018 European kings.
Offering even more action outside of the paddock, there will be a fan area in the village with merchandise all weekend, and some electric bike action on offer from Saturday to Sunday. On top of this, fans can watch a sports bike contest in the village from Saturday 16.00, whilst a drift show will be shown in the village with Matt Mekatrix.
Stunt shows will also be on offer for the fans to enjoy at both the starting grid and the Adelaide Spin on Saturday from 17.25. With three separate sessions out on track, it will be a perfect way to end the day of on track action.
Traditionally in all European Rounds, the fan zone is back in the paddock this weekend offering Acerbis and Shad product displays, Milwaukee entertainment, Honda bike displays and WorldSBK merchandise for the fans to enjoy when bikes aren’t taking to the 4.4km track.
In an emotional display, fans will be in with a chance to honour the late, great Maxime Berger this weekend with a Parade Lap on Saturday at 17.05. In memory of the much loved Frenchman, it provides an opportunity to pay their respects.