Magny-Cours, France

2009 Magny-Cours World Supersport FP2 Result - Sofuoglu And Lascorz Duke It Out

Joan Lascorz was fastest in Saturday morning's session of free practice for World Supersport, engaged in a close battle with Kenan Sofuoglu once again. Cal Crutchlow made a huge gain to leap up to 3rd, ahead of Garry McCoy, while Crutchlow's title rival Eugene Laverty remained way down in 8th place, six tenths off Crutchlow's pace.

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2009 Magny-Cours World Superbikes QP1 Result - Fabrizio Edges Rea

Michel Fabrizio leads the first session of World Superbike qualifying at Magny-Cours, just edging out this morning's fastest man Jonny Rea, while Noriyuki Haga and Ben Spies are fractions behind Rea. Less than two tenths separate the top four, while Spies has nearly half a second lead over the 5th placed man Carlos Checa. Reigning BSB champion Leon Camier ended his first qualifying session in 17th place, a position which would qualify him for Superpole tomorrow afternoon.

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2009 Magny-Cours World Supersport FP1 Result - Sofuoglu And Lascorz Duke It Out

Kenan Sofuoglu led Friday's free practice session for the World Supersport riders, after fighting a session-long battle with Joan Lascorz. The top time changed hands several times before Sofuoglu finally came out ahead. Fabien Foret was the 3rd fastest man, ahead of Sofuoglu's Ten Kate team mate Andrew Pitt. The two championship contenders were well down the field, Eugene Laverty finishing ahead of Cal Crutchlow, the Parkalgar Honda man in 7th, the Yamaha rider in 9th.

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2009 Magny-Cours World Superbikes FP1 Result - Rea Leads, Nieto Surprises

Jonny Rea led the first session of free practice for the World Superbike class at Magny-Cours, putting in a scorching lap in the final minutes of the session, and displacing the surprising Fonsi Nieto on the DFX Corse Ducati. Rea put his Ten Kate Honda ahead of the Stiggy Honda of Leon Haslam, while Noriyuki Haga set the 3rd fastest lap, ahead of Carlos Checa. Nieto finally ended the session in 5th spot. Newly-signed Tech 3 rider Ben Spies set the 7th fastest time, four tenths slower than Rea and nearly two tenths off Haga's time.

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Leon Camier To Race At Magny-Cours

Leon Camier has been looking for a ride in the World Superbike paddock for a while now, and his utter domination of the British Superbike series certainly showed that he has the necessary talent. As we reported yesterday, Camier is to get his chance, taking the place of the injured Shinya Nakano riding the Aprilia RSV4.

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World Superbike: Magny Cours Preview -- 3 To Get Ready, 4 To Go

Three points. Three miserable stinkin' little points. That's what the World Superbike championship has come down to coming into the penultimate round at Magny Cours, in central France. Despite being the final round  in the series from 2003 to 2007, Magny Cours has somehow never been one of those places where legendary battles to the finish happen. The closest that the the French circuit has came to deciding a title was in 2007 when this year's point leader Noriyuki Haga doubled to come as near as he ever has to winning a world championship, a mere two points behind James Toseland.

Haga is in the catbird seat, albeit just barely, after winning race 1 and taking second in Race 2 at Imola. Haga and Ducati have historically done well at the mostly flat French track, with 4 wins and eight podiums for Haga and 7 wins and 10 podiums for Ducati. Haga's showing at Imola confirms that the Rider Formerly Known as Nitro is recovered from his mid-season shoulder and arm injuries, or at least well enough that they don't matter much.

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Leon Camier To Race Aprilia RSV4 World Superbike For Rest Of Season

With Shinya Nakano out for the rest of the season with an injury, Aprilia are in need of a replacement rider for the World Superbike rounds at Magny-Cours and Portimao. Marco Simoncelli returns to his day job as factory Gilera 250cc rider this weekend at Estoril, and Aprilia test rider Alex Hofmann has duties of his own as a TV presenter for the German-language sports channel DSF at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Thus Aprilia is taking the opportunity of the two final races of the year to give a chance to candidates for the factory seat next year. Their main target is newly-crowned BSB champion Leon Camier, according to the Swiss magazine SpeedWeek. The Airwaves Yamaha rider wrapped up the BSB title last weekend at Silverstone, and has made no secret of his desire to make the switch to the World Superbike series next season. And so Camier has the Magny-Cours and Portimao WSBK rounds to secure a ride in the WSBK paddock for 2010 with a few good results.

Though Camier's talent is beyond question, whether the Aprilia is the best vehicle for showcasing that talent is another matter altogether. The RSV4 is by far the most compact - even minuscule - of the current Superbikes, and Camier is one of the tallest men in racing. Max Biaggi fits on the RSV4 neatly, but the Roman Emperor is no giant. Marco Simoncelli, at 6' or 1.83m, looked cramped on the bike, so how Camier, at 6'2 or 1.89m will fit on the RSV4 remains to be seen.

Simoncelli has also set the bar high for the young Briton. The reigning 250 World Champion came into the series as a wildcard at Imola, crashing out of 5th in race 1 and getting on the podium in race 2. As reigning BSB champion, Camier will have goals which, if not quite as high, will still be to finish well inside the top 10. Aboard a machine which will make him look like he is riding a pocket bike, that may be a tough ask.

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Morais In For Tamada At Magny-Cours WSBK?

Makoto Tamada has had a miserable season with the Kawasaki World Superbike squad this year. Dogged by crashes and injury, Tamada has already missed nearly half the season with one injury or another, and his crash in race one at Imola saw the Japanese veteran concussed and suffering amnesia. As a result, the Japanese rider looks set to miss yet another round of racing, with the next round of World Superbikes due to take place this weekend at the Magny Cours circuit in France.

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