Press release previews from the World Superbike organizers and teams ahead of this weekend's penultimate round at Magny-Cours:
High stakes for the penultimate round at Magny-Cours
Barcelona (Spain), Monday 29 September 2014 – The penultimate round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship will take place this weekend at Magny-Cours. The stakes are high for this year’s title as series leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) heads to France with a 31 point advantage with Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team). The reigning champion is looking to return to his previous winning form to seal what would be his second title in a row after being a little bit on the back foot at Jerez, where aboard his ZX-10R he struggled to keep the pace of the two factory Aprilia machines of Guintoli and Melandri.
Last year the 29 year Briton dominated in France by taking pole position, winning both races and setting the fastest lap in each of the two encounters. In 2012 Sykes won the second race on the 4411m, challenging venue located in the heart of France only to miss the ultimate price by half a point.
Other title contender Guintoli came out victorious in wet conditions at Magny-Cours two years ago in race one, while in 2013 he crossed the line second and third. On his home track he has never finished below sixth and has always stepped onto the podium in the last two editions of the French Round.
Last time out at Jerez Guintoli missed a great opportunity to further narrow the gap to the top as he was twice edged out for the win by teammate Marco Melandri, who got his second double of the year and proved once more to be the man to beat in the closing part of the season. The Italian rider currently sits fourth in the standings only 18 points away from third place Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike). The Ulsterman, who was fourth and fifth in the two Spanish races, was able to step on the podium at Magny-Cours twice before, in 2009 and 2012 (race 2).
With two rounds left, many riders are looking for a strong performance to improve their position in the overall standings. Local rider Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and the Ducati Superbike Team duo of Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano are yet to step atop the podium this year and have never made it into the top 3 at Magny-Cours before, meaning the French Round will be very important for all three riders.
The Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Team will face the penultimate round with both sides of the garage knowing their 2015 plans. Eugene Laverty is officially heading to MotoGP, while rookie Alex Lowes recently agreed to extend his partnership with the squad for one more year.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Claudio Corti and Team Hero EBR’s Geoff May and Aaron Yates will have another chance to improve their performance as the season enters the final stretch. A second MV Agusta F4 RR will be run by the Dream Team Company and ridden by 27 year old Nicolas Salchaud.
Three more Ducati 1199 Panigale R machines will line-up on the grid at Magny-Cours as Team 3C Racing will take part in the French Round with 2014 German Superbike Champion Xavi Fores and his IDM teammates Max Neukirchner and Lorenzo Lanzi.
The EVO class sees David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) with one hand on the trophy having a 41 point lead over Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team Ducati), while local riders Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) are third and fourth respectively with a lot of ground to make up in the standings. However expect them fighting to uphold their honor at home.
After 15 years of racing spent in the WSBK paddock, Fabien Foret will contest his final race in the series by joining regular Team Pedercini rider Alessandro Andreozzi and replacing the still injured Luca Scassa.
Standings (Round 10 of 12): 1. Sykes 352; 2. Guintoli 321; 3. Rea 285; 4. Melandri 267; 5. Baz 262; 6. Davies 188; 7. Laverty 154; 8. Giugliano 153; 9. Elias 151; 10. Haslam 150; 11. Lowes 126; 12. Salom 95; 13. Canepa 54; 14. Guarnoni 41; 15. Camier 37; 16. Barrier 32; 17. Morais 24; 18. Andreozzi 21; 19. Scassa 16; 20. Foret 14; 21. Corti 14; 22. Staring 12; 23. Allerton 6; 24. Bos 5; 25. Goi 5; 26. Russo 5; 27. Rizmayer 3; 28. Pegram 2; 29. Toth 2; 30. Fabrizio 2; 31. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 369; 2. Aprilia 368; 3. Honda 285; 4. Ducati 249; 5. Suzuki 220; 6. BMW 69; 7. MV Agusta 21; 8. EBR
After clinching his first World Title last time out at Jerez and being confirmed as a new WSBK rider for the Pata Honda team in 2015, Michael van der Mark will continue with his usual World Supersport duties as a champion in France.
With the ultimate prize already sealed, the battle for the runner-up spot sees Frenchmen Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) and Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) separated by only two points at 109 and 107 respectively, while the other Pata Honda rider Lorenzo Zanetti (90) heads a tight pack that includes Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha), PJ Jacobsen (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) and Kenan Sofuoglu (San Carlo Puccetti Racing), who are all within 5 points of each other.
Irishman Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda), who has been performing well in the recent rounds, will be joined by Colombian rider Martin Cardenas, who steps in for Raffaele De Rosa, as he looks to return to the podium in the penultimate race of the year.
Kevin Wahr (RS Wahr by Kraus Racing) will be back in action after missing from the WSS grid since the Riviera di Rimini Round at Misano, while Ferran Casas and the Team Torrento Yamahawill take part in their second consecutive round after making their World Supersport debut at Jerez. Vladimir Leonov (Rivamoto Honda) and Matt Davies (AARK Racing Honda) will also be part of the show, as will local riders Lucas Mahias (MG Competition Yamaha) and Cédric Tangre (Yohann Moto Sport Suzuki).
Standings (Round 9 of 11): 1. Vd Mark 185; 2. Marino 109; 3. Cluzel 107; 4. Zanetti 90; 5. Coghlan 88; 6. Jacobsen 87; 7. Sofuoglu 86; 8. Rolfo 71; 9. De Rosa 67; 10. Kennedy 56; 11. Tamburini 54; 12. Wilairot 43; 13. Bussolotti 30; 14. Nocco 27; 15. Wahr 26; 16. Russo 25; 17. Gamarino 23; 18. Menghi 20; 19. Leonov 19; 20. Gowland 9; 21. Roccoli 8; 22. Schmitter 8; 23. Zaidi 7; 24. Coveña 7; 25. Debise 4; 26. Calero 3; 27. Rogers 1. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 206; 2. Kawasaki 155; 3. MV Agusta 121; 4. Yamaha 98; 5. Triumph 9.
The FIM Superstock 1000 Cup is set for a thrilling season finale at Magny-Cours, as the only two riders left in the title race will square off for one last exciting battle. With two race wins each, series leader Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati) and Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) are separated by only five points, meaning the Kawasaki rider will aim for the win at any cost to secure the title, hoping to get the better of his strong Argentinean rival.
Given the points situation, the other potential podium finishers could play a crucial role this weekend: Mercado’s teammate Ondrej Jezek, Fabio Massei (EAB Racing Ducati), David McFadden (MRS Kawasaki), Matthieu Lussiana (Team Garnier by ASPI Kawasaki) and Kyle Smith (Agro-On Wil Racedays Honda) will try their best to get in the mix for the top 3 in what is expected to be an exciting finale to the year.
Team Pedercini Kawasaki will be back to the early season’s five rider line up with the returning Simone Grotzkyj Giorgi, whilst the six additions in terms of wildcard and one event riders will bring the number of entrants for the round to a rounded 30.
Standings (Round 6 of 7): 1. Mercado 104; 2. Savadori 99; 3. Jezek 69; 4. Massei 67; 5. McFadden 63; 6. Lussiana 59; 7. Smith 55; 8. Lanusse 53; 9. Valk 44; 10. Day 42; 11. D'Annunzio 39; 12. Nemeth 28; 13. Muresan 21; 14. Bergman 13; 15. Suchet 13; 16. Grotzkyj G. 10; 17. Pagaud 10; 18. Alarcos 8; 19. Schacht 8; 20. Castellarin 7; 21. Walraven 6; 22. Alviz 6; 23. Sandi 5; 24. Calia 4; 25. Moser 3; 26. Egea 2; 27. Butti 1; 28. Ayer 1. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 125; 2. Kawasaki 124; 3. Honda 71; 4. BMW 46; 5. Suzuki 6; 6. Aprilia 4.
An impressive total of 41 riders (31 regulars and 8 one off riders) will take part in the last round of the 2014 FIM Europe Superstock 600 Championship this weekend at Magny-Cours. New champion Marco Faccani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) will try to add yet another race win to his impressive tally with no more pressure on his shoulders having wrapped up the title in Spain, before taking on the next step of his career.
Wayne Tessels (Wayne Racing Team Suzuki) leads the battle for the runner-up spot with 15 and 17 points over Andrea Tucci (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) and Federico Caricasulo (Evan Bros. Racing Team), who scored an impressive second last time out at Jerez (second STK600 podium of his career).
Standings (Round 6 of 7): 1. Faccani 131; 2. Tessels 83; 3. Tucci 68; 4. Caricasulo 66; 5. Tuuli 58; 6. Mikhalchik 48; 7. Salvadori 42; 8. Duwelz 39; 9. Manfredi 38; 10. Rinaldi 29; 11. Casalotti 27; 12. Lahti 24; 13. Bodis 20; 14. Nestorovic 19; 15. Stirpe 16; 16. Zaccone 16; 17. Marchal 15; 18. Hartog 13; 19. Puffe 12; 20. Sabatino 11; 21. Morrentino 10; 22. Rouse 9; 23. Caruso 7; 24. Baken 6; 25. Mercandelli 5; 26. Gobbi 5; 27. Lewis 5; 28. Pittet 5; 29. Zeelen 5; 30. Canducci 3; 31. Monti 2; 32. Lagonigro 1; 33. De Gruttola 1; 34. Patronen 1.
European Junior Cup
One point stands between Augusto Fernandez (Wil Sport) and the 2014 Pata European Junior Cup crown, ahead of the final round of the year at Magny-Cours. The young Spaniard, who has a 24 point advantage to compatriot Javier Orellana (Europ Food SL), only needs to finish 15th in Sunday’s final encounter but as the EJC has already shown this year, many potential winners could spoil the party for the runner up last year as Fernandez aims to go one better this time around.
Standings (Round 7 of 8): 1. Fernandez 139; 2. Orellana 115; 3. Licciardi 84; 4. Fernandez 79; 5. Harland 72; 6. Miralles 62; 7. Perez 61; 8. Hubner 51; 9. Soomer 49; 10. Grassia 35; 11. Van Sikkelerus 35; 12. London 33; 13. Wisdom 26; 14. Geissler 21; 15. Ciprietti 20; etc.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki set for European finale in France
Four weeks on from its last race Voltcom Crescent Suzuki travels to France this week as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship returns to the Circuit du Nevers Magny-Cours for 2014’s final battle on European soil.
Delivering two strong sixth place finishes in the Jerez races last month, Eugene Laverty is determined to end his Superbike career with a return to the podium on board his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R. Having previously climbed the rostrum three times at the French circuit in recent years, the Irishman is looking to continue his development with the GSX-R1000 for the final two rounds before setting his sights on the GP class for 2015.
With two outings at the Magny-Cours track under his belt already from his early Superstock career, Alex Lowes is hoping his previous knowledge from 2008-9 will allow him to hit the ground running on his return to action during Friday morning’s first free practice session. The Crescent team has been hard at work since Jerez and has a new engine brake control strategy to introduce, as well as other smaller updates, so Lowes is looking forward to getting to grips with the Nièvre circuit, believing the Suzuki GSX-R has what it takes to tackle its technical layout.
Originally built in the 1960’s and redesigned in 2003, the 4,411 metre-long Circuit du Nevers Magny-Cours has promoted Superbike racing since the early 1990’s, with consecutive races being held here since 2003. Located just over 250kms from Paris, the track’s 20 corners test a multitude of disciplines throughout its clockwise revolution including the hard-breaking Adelaide hairpin and Estoril’s smooth and sweeping right-hander.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki begins its track action at 11:45hrs local time (10:45BST) on Friday 3rd October for the first of the weekend’s four free practice sessions. Saturday’s Superpole is scheduled for 15:00hrs (14:00BST) with Sunday’s two races showing at 10:30hrs (09:30BST) and 13:10hrs (12:10BST) respectively.
"I really expected podium finishes last time out in Jerez so I left feeling very disappointed. We need to find a way to transform our strong pace in practice into race pace. It's no secret that we have struggled to match the others on new tyres and a full tank of fuel and I hope we can make improvements in this area for Magny Cours.
We've found a much better clutch setting though, allowing me to make consistently good starts and that's a huge positive. My aim is to qualify on the front two rows at Magny Cours, make a good start and then fight with all my might!"
“I’m really looking forward to Magny-Cours, we’ve had an inconsistent few races but we’ve made changes going in to this weekend. It’s a track that I’ve previously ridden which will make a positive difference for this year. The team has made some improvements since Jerez and I can’t wait to get out there, work hard for the final two rounds and get some results that the team deserve so we can all finish the year on a positive note.”
KENNEDY READY FOR PODIUM FIGHT
CIA INSURANCE HONDA’S Jack Kennedy will put it all on the line in the fight for the podium at the 10th round of the World Supersport Championship at Magny Cours in France this weekend.
Last time out at Jerez Jack finished fourth, less than a second from the win. He’s now more determined than ever. Jack said: “I enjoyed Jerez but finishing fourth and off the box was a blow. This time out I am going for the podium and I am not going to accept anything else, I’ll be giving it my all. My CIA Insurance Honda is working brilliantly and the whole team deserves another podium – or ideally a race win. It’s going to be good.”
Nacho Calero is looking to end his season on a high with another points scoring finish. Both Nacho and Jack will be joined at Magny Cours by AMA Superbike front-runner Martin Cardenas who is looking to prove what he can do on the world stage.
The race starts at 1140 local time on Sunday 5th October with qualifying on Saturday and practice on Friday.
Simon Buckmaster, CIA Insurance Honda Team Manager: “Jack came so close to the podium last time out and that has simply served as extra motivation to him and the whole CIA Insurance Honda team. It is clear he has the bike and ability to challenge for the wins and we only have two chances left to do it, so we want to make Magny Cours count.
“Nacho is enjoying his racing but we all want him to get back into the points this season. We will be doing all we can to work with him and build his confidence so he can make the most of his CIA Insurance Honda.
“We welcome Martin to CIA Insurance Honda and are excited to see what he can achieve. Realistically in the points first time out on a new bike, with a new team in a new Championship would be a great result. He has good pedigree and it will be interesting to see how far he progresses with us over the weekend.”
Penultimate Round Full Of Opportunities For KRT Trio
After a gap of a month the FIM Superbike World Championship will get underway this weekend at a race meeting which could be pivotal for all three KRT riders – Tom Sykes, Loris Baz and KRT SBK Evo rider David Salom.
For 2013 champion and current series leader Tom Sykes Magny Cours was the place where he just missed out on the championship by half a point in 2012, before he went on to win a double that helped propel him toward champion status at the final round last season. Magny Cours is a favoured circuit for Sykes and one that seems to suit his Ninja ZX-10R even more than most, as he has won three of the last four WSBK races to have been held in France.
With eight race wins already this year – making a career total of 22 - Sykes will be out to defend his championship lead of 31 points in the best way possible, by setting out to win the races in France.
Magny Cours is the most important race of the season for Loris Baz, and the French rider’s only home venue on the championship trail. He missed the event last year because of injury and is keen to make the best possible showing in front of what is traditionally a strong and enthusiastic crowd. It will also be the final race of the season to be held in Europe, with the championship finale taking place in Qatar in early November.
Like Sykes in the full SBK Class, David Salom is the leader of the Evo category inside the full SBK grid. The Spanish rider has an impressive 41 point lead over his nearest Evo rival and is 12th overall in the combined standings, which include all the SBK competitors. He has made a good recovery after an operation on his long term right hand injury and feels strong for the two 21-lap races this coming Sunday.
At the Magny Cours race the team will feature more prominent sponsorship logos from long time team partner and French oil company ELF.
After Magny Cours there will be a one-month gap before the final races of the year, to be held under floodlights for the first time, at the Losail circuit in Qatar. Raceday will be Sunday 2 November.
Tom Sykes: “A big weekend coming up and it is potentially getting down towards crunch time. I am very relaxed and yet also excited to go to Magny Cours. It is a circuit we have done very well at in the past so I am looking forward to getting back on my Ninja ZX-10R. Despite scoring a podium in race two at Jerez we had a few issues at the previous round, especially in race one, so I am hoping we can be a lot stronger this time out. At this present time we are in a good championship position with the biggest margin for error. Hopefully we can stretch it a bit more this weekend.”
Loris Baz: “I am really looking forward to going to Magny Cours, especially because I missed the race last year. It is always a bit special, your home race. I am ready to restart at Magny Cours and even though I did not race there in Superbike last year I know the track very well because I have done two Bol D’Or endurance races. I like the track, the Ninja ZX-10R is going well, so I am sure we can make something really good there. There are always a lot of spectators at this race and it is a little bit special to go there and ride in front of my home fans.”
David Salom: “I am in a good position in the points table heading to France. It is not a bad circuit at all, especially in fully dry conditions, but it is just not my favourite one of the year. I have a 41-point advantage in the Evo class but in my mind, I am not even thinking about the championship heading to France; I am only thinking about winning the Evo races. I feel good because my hand is now much improved. If not 100% then it is maybe 95%. The doctor said maybe in a month it should be perfect, and the recovery after my operation has been very good.”
Pata Honda ready for WSBK's 2014 European finale
The Pata Honda team is heading for this weekend’s (3-5 October) final European round of the 2014 World Superbike championship season at Magny-Cours in France.
Jonathan Rea, currently sitting in third place in the championship standings, is looking forward to battling with his rivals once more on his Pata Honda CBR1000RR machine and targeting an eighth rostrum finish of the 2014 season having twice visited the Magny-Cours podium in the past.
The 27-year-old British rider is 36 points behind second-placed Sylvain Guintoli and, with the final round scheduled to take place at Losail in Qatar on 2 November, both riders still have a mathematical chance to overhaul leader Tom Sykes, who is a further 31 points ahead of Guintoli.
Similarly, Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam is intent on maintaining his challenge for improved results. The 31-year-old currently lies in tenth place in the points table but has shown steady progress in the last five races with a string of consistent top eight finishes.
Haslam, who has not enjoyed podium champagne at Magny-Cours since the 2010 season, will be targeting a stronger qualifying performance at the French circuit this weekend in order to mount a sustained challenge for further podium places.
The 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit lies in central France, approximately 260km south of the capital Paris. The scene of James Toseland’s World Superbike championship title victory for Honda in 2007, it features 20 corners - nine lefts and eleven rights - with one of the tightest hairpins (Turn 5) seen on any world championship circuit.
I’m really excited to be going back to Magny-Cours – I enjoy the circuit layout a lot and its fast direction changes seem to suit our package really well. We’ve also had some good results there in the past. To be honest, I’m just looking forward to riding the bike again; these long gaps between the last few races of the season are not good or helpful for maintaining any kind of rhythm. I’ve been doing a lot of training on my CRF450R motocrosser, just to keep my levels of concentration as high as possible. Last time out in Jerez we had some really good pace at the end of the races – probably among the strongest. Now we need to work on getting that pace earlier in the race to allow us to challenge for podiums and wins. But we’ll be starting in Magny-Cours with what we know and conc entrate through the weekend on getting the best possible set-up for Sunday.
Yeah, I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike at Magny-Cours this weekend. Another month off since the last race has not been ideal in terms of keeping recent momentum going but it is what is it. I like the circuit and I’ve had some pretty good results there in the past, even though last year’s races were not great. The weather can always play its part at Magny-Cours as well – it might suit us if it’s wet but, either way, I’m looking forward to getting out there again.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Magny-Cours has not been a bad circuit for us in the past so we plan to go into full-attack mode that will allow Jonathan to retain his third place in the standings and even to improve his position, if possible. His recent results have been good for his confidence so we’re looking forward to the weekend. We’ll keep pushing with Leon, too, and try our best to give him a setting with which he is comfortable and can target the podium in Sunday’s two races.
Podium The Aim For Sofuoglu And Kawasaki Riders
Kenan Sofuoglu continues his 2014 season with the San Carlo Puccetti Racing team he joined at the previous round in Spain but he is by no means the only Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R rider who will start the penultimate round of the season at Magny Cours capable of a podium finish.
Three-time world champion Sofuoglu is the lone Kawasaki race winner in 2014, having won the Motorland Aragon race back in April. With bad luck for Kenan from then on, and despite scoring two more podium results, he is now seventh in the championship standings.
Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) is the highest-ranked Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R rider this season, in second place after nine races have been completed. Florian moved up to second after the Jerez round, where he looked ready to record his first WSS win for some time, before another rider ran him wide at a crucial moment. Now approaching his home race he is more than motivated to win in front of his local fans.
Marino’s main ambition for the year is to make sure he can finish in second place in the championship, as he now has a two-point advantage over his fellow countryman Jules Cluzel, with two rounds to go including their home event.
America’s Patrick ‘PJ’ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) has had a strong rookie season in WSS after two podium finishes in the most recent three races. His second place in Jerez last time out, just behind new champion Michael van der Mark, shows that he is now gaining confidence at the highest levels of global competition on his Ninja ZX-6R.
The other Kawasaki rider in the top eight in the championship is the highly experienced Roberto Rolfo (Team Go Eleven) with a best single race finish of fourth, which he hopes to improve on before the season finishes in Qatar in November.
Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) is only two points off a top ten ranking as things stand, while his team-mate Alessandro Nocco is 14th. The third Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres rider at Magny Cours will be British rider Mason Law, replacing Tony Covena. Go Eleven Kawasaki rider Christian Gamarino completes the regular Kawasaki line-up.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “I will have my second race for the San Carlo Puccetti team this weekend and we did not have a lot of time to get ready for the previous round. The one-month break since then has been very good for us and the set-up and electronics are going to be fully ready. Unlike at the previous round, I do not have a penalty because of the number of engines used. That means I do not have to start from pitlane like I had to in Spain. I think we are all ready and Magny Cours is one of the best tracks for me, and my Kawasaki. We should be able to have a good weekend in France because we should have a good package. I would like to show in the last two races that we can still be there.”
The Ducati Superbike Team prepares for the penultimate championship round at Magny-Cours
Borgo Panigale (Italy) Tuesday 30 September 2014 - The Ducati Superbike Team and its riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano are France-bound for the penultimate round of the 2014 Superbike World Championship, taking place this weekend at the Circuit de Nevers Magny Cours.
One month ago, the Ducati Superbike Team took part in the tenth round of the 2014 championship, and the second Spanish round, at the Jerez circuit. Davies was particularly pleased to celebrate a podium (third) in race 1 and a fourth place finish in the day’s second race, at what has proved to be a difficult track for him in the past. Giugliano, having performed very well during the practice sessions to qualify second on the grid, unfortunately suffered a crash in race one before a technical issue prevented him from finishing race 2.
The team now moves on to France for the penultimate championship round. The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, located in the Burgundy region of central France, has been a regular fixture on the SBK calendar each year since 2003 but due to the fact that the event traditionally takes place late in the season, the French race weekend is often conditioned by inclement weather. During last season’s event at the Magny-Cours circuit, Giugliano crossed the line in fourth place in both races, while Davies’ took a fifth place finish in race 2. With only one round remaining after this weekend, both Ducati Superbike riders will be aiming to collect as many championship points as possible before the season’s end.
As the team heads to France, Davies is still lying sixth in the championship standings, Giugliano is in eighth place. Ducati positions fourth in the manufacturer’s championship.
Comments ahead of the event:
Chaz Davies – Ducati Superbike Team #7
“I’ve had a few issues during race weekends at Magny-Cours in the past, whether technical or weather-related, but it will definitely be nice to get riding again after this fairly long break. I’ve heard positive things about the test sessions that the development team carried out last week. The guys are working hard back in Italy and I think we might have a few small things to try out this weekend in terms of the balancing of weight. I’m fairly happy with my base set-up but we can afford to play a little with settings. There are certain sections of the track, like the fast changes in direction, which should suit the Panigale, and braking at the end of the straight is another strong point so I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we can do.”
Davide Giugliano – Ducati Superbike Team #34
“Magny-Cours is a great track that’s been pretty favourable to me in the past. I enjoy racing there. There is a technical section where we should be able to make the most of the Panigale’s potential and then even though there is a long straight, thanks to all our hard work I hope that the gap is a manageable one. The test team worked hard on some new set-ups at Mugello, so it will be interesting to see if there’s something that we can use this weekend. The only question mark is, as usual, the weather, but that’s standard at this time of year so we just have to prepare as well as we can.”
New champion van der Mark back to racing action
One month after securing the 2014 World Supersport championship, Pata Honda’s Michael van der Mark is heading to Magny-Cours in France, together with team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti, for the penultimate round of the season.
Van der Mark celebrated the title in style by winning the last round at Jerez in Spain to stand on top of the podium for the fifth time this season. This weekend he returns to the circuit where he won the FIM European Superstock 600 championship two years ago with another race victory on Honda’s CBR600RR.
Since his impressive race and championship win in Jerez, it has been announced that the 21-year-old Dutch flyer will ride for the Pata Honda team in the World Superbike championship for the next two years, but in the short term, van der Mark has nothing but another World Supersport race win in his sights for Magny-Cours.
Lorenzo Zanetti, is also hoping to add to his single race victory this season, taken at his home race in Imola in Italy in May. The 27-year-old currently sits in fourth place in the World Supersport championship standings and, although the title has gone to his Pata Honda team-mate, the runner-up spot is still a possibility.
Michael van der Mark
The championship is over now but I am a racer and I still want to win. I really like Magny-Cours and I think we have proven at every circuit we have a good base setting, so I cannot wait to go out on track. Magny-Cours was already special for me because I won my first title, in European Superstock, at this track two years ago. Now I have taken the next step and will arrive there as the Supersport champion. I have signed for two years with Pata Honda to race in World Superbike so I think that with everything fixed this could be one of the most relaxed weekends we have had this year. We only have the race itself to think about at this round and I will try to win it.
The last race in Europe and the track is OK for me; I like it. The weather in France at this time of year can be a factor but in any case I want to push. I was strong all weekend in the previous round but at the end of the race I lost some pace because I used a lot of my rear tyre on the first few laps trying to win. I was disappointed about this because I have the potential to fight for a podium every race, but I am only looking to Magny-Cours now. I want to have a good weekend like I did in Jerez but try to finish on the podium this time. In the championship I could finish in overall second place but also seventh, so I need to have a great result if I want to finish inside the top three.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
There's no pressure for Michael this weekend - the championship is his and he has signed a two-year contract to race with us in World Superbike from next year. But the plan is still simple and we hope to be fighting for another race win for him. We will also be looking to help Lorenzo to get back to the podium. The potential is always there and was as strong as ever at Jerez in the last race. All his finishes have been top six this season and he has been close to the podium many times. We'll be targeting it again this weekend in Magny-Cours.
Team Althea Racing – Magny-Cours SBK Preview
After a month’s break, Team Althea Racing and rider Niccolò Canepa now travel to the French circuit of Nevers Magny-Cours to participate in the penultimate round of the 2014 Superbike World Championship, taking place this weekend.
The circuit is located in central France, in the Burgundy region. Built in 1960, it comprises 17 turns, of which some take the names of other racetracks, such as the fast Estoril corner and the Adelaide chicane.
4411 metres in length, the track boasts a very smooth surface but does not have many sections through which to overtake.
The track is of course very important to Team Althea Racing, as it is here that the squad won the 2011 Superbike world title with rider Carlos Checa, and also for Niccolò Canepa, who won the Superstock 1000 title here in 2007.
Now the entire team turns its attentions to the Ducati Panigale 1199, to study the best strategy with which to face Friday and Saturday’s sessions and obtain the best possible results in Sunday’s races.
Niccolò Canepa: “After a month’s break, I’m keen to get back on my Ducati Panigale 1199. Magny- Cours is a track that I really like and I have good memories of it, in fact it was here that I lifted the Superstock 1000 title a few years ago.
It’s a great track but at this time of year the weather is always something of an unknown. Let’s hope that the weather is on our side!”
Superstock 600 - San Carlo Team Italia head to Magny Cours to top off a triumphal 2014 season
In France Marco Faccani will race as European Champion; Andrea Tucci aims to secure a top-3 finish in the Championship.
After taking the European Stock 600 title in Jerez de la Frontera with a round to go, San Carlo Team Italia is ready to tackle the last appointment of the European Stock 600 season at Magny-Cours with the same commitment as always, to close the 2014 year in a high.
Marco Faccani (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #5) is arriving at the French Circuit as European Stock 600 Champion thanks to an impressive progression that saw him scoring five wins (Aragon, Imola, Misano, Portimao and Jerez) out of six races so far. Despite having already achieved his target, the talented rider from Ravenna is keen to score another important result to crown in the best way his terrific experience in the European Stock 600 Championship.
After moving up to third place on the overall standing at Jerez, Andrea Tucci (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #44) wants to confirm it at Magny-Cours. He has the potential to step on the podium again to positively closing his debuting season in a series meant for the young talents of International Motorcycling.
Cristiano Migliorati (Sporting Director - San Carlo Team Italia STK600)
"Having already achieved our main target, we can face Magny-Cours with tranquillity. We are proud to have won the European Title with Marco Faccani one race in advance: it repays the hard work of the team during the season. Anyway our goals for the last race are unchanged: we’ll do our best to score the 45 points available. It would be fantastic to end as we began in Aragon last April with a one-two finish. Such a result would ensure a placement into the top-3 for Andrea Tucci, a goal we are all particularly looking forward. Matteo and Andrea don’t know Magny Cours but I think they will learn it pretty quickly. Last year we have achieved a perfect one-two finish with Nocco and Morbidelli so we have the right experience to put our riders in the conditions to do their best".
Supersport World Championship
In the penultimate round of the Supersport World Championship that will be held at Nevers Magny-Cours, San Carlo Puccetti Racing will field again three bikes. The two riders of the ‘San Carlo Talenti Azzurri FMI’ project, Roberto Tamburini and Alessandro Nocco will try to score a prestigious result alongside multi-time World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu. For ‘Tambu’ (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #5) the transalpine race represents a real opportunity to climb the rankings back to a top-10 position in the Championship, which lies just two point ahead. Strengthen by his positive 9th place in Jerez, Alessandro Nocco (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #10) has good memories of the French track where last year he dominated the European Stock 600 race for the colours of San Carlo Team Italia..
WORLD SUPERBIKE TAKES ON MAGNY-COURS.
AFTER DOMINATING AT JEREZ, SYLVAIN GUINTOLI AND MARCO MELANDRI'S APRILIA RACING TEAM IS READY FOR BATTLE ON FRENCH SOIL. THE CHAMPIONSHIP IS STILL UP FOR GRABS.
Magny-Cours, 1 October 2014 - World Superbike is back on the track with the penultimate round of the 2014 calendar on the French Magny-Cours track. Despite the long break, for the Aprilia Racing Team memories of Jerez are still fresh in their minds, a round where the RSV4s completely dominated, ridden by Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli who brought home a double one-two (first and second place in both races). This is a result which, besides once again confirming the Italian superbike's extraordinary competitiveness, “upset” the championship standings to create all the right conditions for a thrilling season finale.
With 100 points still up for grabs, the 31 point gap that separates Sylvain Guintoli from the top spot is keeping the French rider's hopes alive. On his home track, Sylvain will also be able to count on the support of his fans who will be flocking to the circuit to see his attempt at a comeback. Sylvain's feeling on the French track is good, as his first factory derivative win demonstrated, earned right here at Magny-Cours in 2012.
Another great protagonist of the season finale is Marco Melandri, dominator at Jerez and progressively more competitive in the second half of the championship season. For the Italian rider, still mathematically in the running for the title, despite a significant disadvantage, his stated goal is to battle one race at a time. Without calculations but with the firm intention of taking home the best possible results.
Sylvain Guintoli: “After the solid week end in Jerez, I can't wait to get back on track in Magny Cours to try to close the Championship gap. It won't be easy but I still have a chance so I 'll take all risks and try my best to beat Tom. The French public support will be a big advantage and I have been training like an animal! I am ready”.
Marco Melandri: “Magny-Cours is a track that I like a lot and it looks like the weather will be excellent. I'm arriving here in good condition. I want to reaffirm the levels that I demonstrated in Jerez. I'm sure the competition will be heated, but I have taken advantage of this month to recharge my batteries and I'm ready for battle on the track”.