World Supersport was thirty riders competing over nineteen laps of Magny-Cours with French riders challenging at the sharp end in front of their home crowd.
World Supersport Superpole had twenty riders fighting in Superpole one for two spots in Superpole two. Hannes Soomer and Ayrton Badovini ended Friday in the best place to get promoted to join the ten quickest riders, including the French pair of Jules Cluzel and Lucas Mahias, in Superpole two.
Press releases from the organizers and teams after the race and practice on Saturday at Magny-Cours:
WorldSBK standings after race 1 at Magny-Cours:
World Superbikes is on the precipice of history with Jonathan Rea capable of winning his fourth world championship in a row. How did he do?
World Superbike Superpole started the first session at the new early time and eleven riders competed for the two spots in the second session, with Eugene Laverty and Leon Camier the favourites to promote themselves.
The final European round of the WorldSBK season sees Magny-Cours play host to Jonathan Rea's first attempt to make history by winning a fourth consecutive championship. The Northern Irishman is on the cusp of history and clinched the title here 12 months ago.
Can Rea clinch it?
It would be surprise if Rea doesn't leave France with the title in the bag. Over the course of the last three rounds he has been undefeated, and even though Magny-Cours has been a happy hunting ground in the past for Chaz Davies the Welshman is up against it due to injury. The stars are aligned for Rea to make history this weekend.
Yamaha out to impress
Press releases from some of the teams and organizers after the first day of practice in France:
#FrenchWorldSBK Day 1: Rea marches on in France with top time on Friday
Jonathan Rea, unable to improve on his quickest time from this morning, ended the day in provisional pole position. Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark were able to improve on their earlier times and ended the session second and fourth quickest, with Tom Sykes third quickest this session second quickest overall. In what looks ominous, Chaz Davies was once again, not the quickest Ducati, this time sitting below Michael Ruben Rinaldi rather than this morning's Xavi Fores, although all four Ducatis were within twenty four thousandths of a second adter a day of qualifying.
Jules Cluzel and Lucas Mahias, within a quarter of a second of each other, headed a six-Yahama pack ahead of Raffaele Dr Rosa, seventh quickest on his MV Agusta. Kyle Smith, thirteenth quickest this session, relied on his morning's time to put him in the top ten to automatically qualify for tomorrow's Superpole two session. Hannes Soomer and Ayrton Badovini, eleventh and twelfth overall, are the favourite two riders to advance from the Superpole one session.
Tom Sykes was quickest ahead of Lorenzo Savadori who was only a tenth of a second off top spot. Jonathan Rea was third quickest, within two tenths of a second.
Sandro Cortese headed a six Yamaha pack at the top of the timing sheet, with Jules Cluzel and Lucas Mahias within two tenths of a second at their home race.
Jonathan Rea, hoping to tie up his fourth successive World Superbike title this weekend, was quickest ahead of his Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes and the Yamaha pairing of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes. Lorenzo Savadori was fifth quickest on his Aprilia while Xavi Fores was the quickest Ducati in sizth place.
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
Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, MotoMatters.com will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. MotoMatters.com subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.
KTM RC 250 R engine (Moto3)
Peter Bom: This engine is tilted backwards for cleaning and maintenance. Note the (orange) caps that keep dirt out of the inlet / exhaust ports during transport and cleaning. The aluminum box on the left is the water / oil intercooler. Here, instead of using an oil cooler, the water from the radiator cools the engine oil.