2015 Magny-Cours World Superbike Friday Post-Practice Press Releases

Press releases after the first day of practice at Magny-Cours:


Rea leads proceedings on opening day in France

Davies, Sykes, Haslam and Lowes complete an all-British top 5 at Magny-Cours.

Jonathan Rea (GBR) made the most of his penultimate lap to maintain first place at the end of FP2

The opening day’s Free Practice sessions for the Fassi French Round drew to a close with new WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea leading the way aboard his Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R. The 28-year-old Ulsterman was able to break the 1’38s barrier on his penultimate lap of the FP2 session as he lapped the 4.411km Magny-Cours track in 1’37.750, to edge his teammate Tom Sykes and factory Ducati rider Chaz Davies by nearly three tenths of a second.

Fourth and fifth placed Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) showed great speed aboard their respective bikes, likewise Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) who was sixth at the flag, despite an early crash during the session.

Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) continued his familiarisation with the French track by finishing seventh ahead of the Italian trio of Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati), Luca Scassa (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia), who rounded out the top 10.

Outgoing WorldSBK Champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike) was headed by Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati) for eleventh, while one wildcard rider Markus Reiterberger (VanZon Remeha BMW) claimed a provisional thirteenth place ahead of tomorrow morning’s FP3, which will decide the riders taking part in the twelfth round’s Tissot-Superpole.

WorldSBK Magny-Cours - Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2

1 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team

2 - Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team +0.294

3 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +0.323


Magny-Cours (France), 2 October 2015

The first day of qualifying has concluded at the historic French track of Magny-Cours where the eni FIM Superbike World Championship riders are taking part in the penultimate round of the 2015 season.

After today’s two practice sessions, the Team Althea riders both placed inside the top ten, with Niccolò Canepa sixth and Matteo Baiocco eighth.

Canepa and his team worked on a different set-up with respect to that used in Spain two weeks ago, testing different solutions throughout both sessions. The team has identified the right path and the Italian was fast right from the outset, concluding with a best time of 1'38.496.

Baiocco used the morning’s session to regain feeling with a track he has not raced at for five years, concluding the practice in tenth place. He improved on his performance in the second session, moving up into eighth place with a time of 1'38.905 and with more references to use tomorrow during the qualifying sessions that will establish Sunday’s race grid.

This weekend signifies the final round of the season for the Superstock 1000 Championship, where Team Althea will fight for its first win of the season with rider Raffaele De Rosa.

De Rosa closed day one by scoring overall fourth place, with a time of 1'40.528, just 0.042 from the leader. After testing various set-up solutions ahead of the race, tomorrow’s work will focus on finding the best pace and fighting to obtain pole position.

Niccolò Canepa: “It’s been a positive day for me, as I’ve been fast and positioned towards the front in both sessions. Despite having changed the bike’s set-up dramatically since Jerez, we’ve found the right direction to take today. Tomorrow we have more to test in order to push for the fast times, in the hope that the weather conditions also remain stable.”

Matteo Baiocco: “I hadn’t been to Magny-Cours for five years and so it took a little time to find the right feeling and references with the track. I’m inside the top ten, currently lying eighth, but am confident that we can improve on our performance tomorrow. We have some changes to make ahead of the races in which I will need to try and be as consistent as possible and where the weather remains the biggest question mark.”


A positive first day for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team at Magny-Cours

Magny-Cours (France), Friday 2 October 2015 – The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team is on track at Magny-Cours this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2015 Superbike World Championship. After the day’s two timed practice sessions, Chaz Davies lies second, Luca Scassa ninth.

In fairly cold, but dry conditions, Davies and Scassa were on track this morning for the first timed practice session. The team worked steadily and efficiently during this opening session, with Chaz scoring the fourth fastest time, 1’38.956, and Luca closing in eleventh with a time of 1’40.039.

The second timed practice took place later in the day on a slightly warmer track. The riders and their technicians continued to work to adapt their Panigale R bikes to the French track, focusing on suspension and electronics. Both Aruba Ducati men improved by approximately a second on their earlier times, setting a best of 1’38.044 (Davies) and 1’39.039 (Scassa).

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 2nd (1’38.044)

“I’m fairly pleased with how today went. I’ve always had a bit of a strange time here at Magny-Cours in the past but today we’ve made a good start and I hope that we can continue on like this tomorrow. We’ve continued with the work carried out at the Jerez test, also concentrating on tyre selection. We’ve still got work to do, I’d like to improve my bike’s turning a little more for example, but I’m happy with the progress made today.”

Luca Scassa - (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #99) – 9th (1’39.039)

“It’s gone well today, although I’m still feeling a little rigid on the bike. We started using the base that we had at the Jerez test. Tomorrow we’ll continue to make some changes that should help us to take a step forward, especially in the very slow turns but, having said that, I’m happy with the bike. It’s more a case of me having to adapt to the Panigale and to the track. I don’t really mind if it rains tomorrow, it’ll be another challenge, but if I’m able to qualify directly for Superpole 2 thanks to today's time I’ll be happy…”


Hard work on opening day for Pata Honda in France

Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark had to work their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SPs hard in this afternoon’s second free practice session of the 12th round World Superbike championship event at Magny-Cours in France.

Having finished the opening session this morning in fifth and ninth places respectively, the Pata Honda duo ended the day in 12th and 14th overall with neither rider able to significantly improve their lap times at the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit.

Van der Mark, fresh from his podium result in the last round at Jerez in Spain is confident that a couple of changes to his CBR will allow him to climb the leader board in tomorrow morning’s third free practice which is timed for the afternoon Superpole qualifying sessions.

As a French rider, Magny-Cours is a home round for Guintoli who will be working with his crew this evening to adjust the geometry and settings of his CBR and fine-tune the Cosworth electronics package to maximise its potential in tomorrow’s sessions.

Sylvain Guintoli - P12

This morning was good straightaway. We were able to get into some decent lap times early on and we were only 0.4s from the front with a good time. But it then became a struggle to go faster this afternoon and I could only match the morning time and not improve. I felt like I was riding on the limit and couldn’t go any faster. We’ve got some different geometry and settings to use tomorrow morning to try and improve where we are weak, and we’re lacking a little on top speed, too. I know the track here really well and I know how to go fast quite quickly but improving after that has been quite difficult.

Michael van der Mark - P14

This morning’s session was quite good but in the last 10 minutes we had a small technical problem which meant that I couldn’t really push on the new tyre. This afternoon there were a couple of other problems which took some time to fix and that meant that I couldn’t really find a rhythm or get many laps together. The lap time at the end was getting better but not perfect. I just need to get some more laps and find that rhythm in order to make some steps forward with the bike.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Mikey did not have a smooth day because we had some small technical and set-up issues which all together didn’t allow him to get into any kind of a rhythm. In the final run he was able to improve a little when he had to set a time but at the end of the day the setting for him was not the best and we have to improve that. We have another session to do that tomorrow and I’m sure that he can move up. Sylvain started really strong in the morning and stayed on used tyres throughout the session. In the afternoon we made some chassis changes but they didn’t really work out. In the end he almost matched his time from the morning but we didn’t have time to change back the adjustment that we made from the first session. We’ll do that for free practice tomorrow and hopefully start afresh like this morning.


Strong fifth at Magny-Cours for Lowes and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki

The opening day of action at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours concluded with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes comfortably fifth in the combined times after two successful set-up sessions.

Less than 0.4 of a second separated fifth from second position at the close of play this afternoon, with Lowes’ best lap – a 1’38390 – set on his second fast lap on new tyres. The British racer remains pleased with the progress made throughout the two 45-minute sessions, despite not hitting the planned number of laps on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R due to a gear-shifting sensor issue mid-way through the afternoon practice. Saturday’s morning session will see him concentrate on a longer run to cement the current feeling but Lowes is confident the set-up work completed today is heading firmly in the right direction.

Randy de Puniet worked hard both on and off the track today as his visit to his home race saw him coveted for interviews, autographs and two appointments with the World Championship’s Paddock Show alongside his racing commitments. Concentrating on learning the layout while continuing to improve the feel with his Suzuki GSX-R1000, the Frenchman concluded his first day in 16th with a 1’39.701 – agility and brake feeling his target for tomorrow.

Kawasaki’s newly-crowned World Champion Jonathan Rea continued his reign at the top of the times, setting the pace with a 1’37.750 as the autumnal sunshine warmed the French track to 27°C by late afternoon.

Lowes and De Puniet return to Magny-Cours as Saturday’s action begins with the final timed-for-qualifying session at 09:45hrs local time (08:45BST), the 30-minute free practice following at 12:30hrs (11:30BST). Superpole commences at 15:00 (14:00BST) with the top-12 shootout on track at 15:25 (14:25BST).

Alex Lowes:

“We had a decent start today, the bike feels quite good and I’m enjoying the track and looking forward to tomorrow. I think we have decent pace, but there is plenty still to work on overnight. The lads did a great job between session one and two – working on stopping the bike and getting through the faster chicanes – so if we can take another step tomorrow we shouldn’t be too far away. We didn’t get as many laps in as we had wanted today – due to a few minor issues – so hopefully we can get more down tomorrow, build up the consistency and start understanding it a little bit more over the longer race distance.”

Randy de Puniet:

“I’m not that happy about the first day, ok it is the first time I have ridden here for many years, but the feeling with the bike is like Jerez not like Malaysia and Laguna as I would like. We have tried some adjustments which improved during the morning session, but this afternoon we tried something different again which did not work for me. The rhythm is not good enough so we need to find something for tomorrow morning because we need one second to be inside the top ten. I hope we can take half a step with the bike and I will find the last half to be able to fight at this point.

“I also have a new helmet design for my home race which I really like, with a small symbol to the French people and to commemorate the French round.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“It’s been a very solid first day for Alex’s side of the garage here in Magny-Cours. The GSX-R is working well at this track and the fact that Alex has the experience of last year means we were able to hit the ground running this morning. We didn’t have the best FP2 and made fewer laps than Alex or the team would have wanted due to a gearbox shifting issue, but taking this into account the lap-time was still very good and the pace was very consistent.

“The start of the weekend for Randy’s home race hasn’t gone quite as well – no fundamental problems, the new Nissin brake system is working well and the bike clearly has reasonable potential – but Randy hasn’t seen the track for 17 years and hasn’t quite found the sweet spot of either bike setting or his own rhythm to be as far up the order as he would like. Let’s hope we can keep working hard and improve tomorrow.”


THE WEEKEND IS OFF TO A GOOD START FOR THE APRILIA RSV4 MACHINES ON THE FRENCH MAGNY-COURS TRACK

POSITIVE SENSATIONS FOR LEON HASLAM, JORDI TORRES LEARNS THE CIRCUIT QUICKLY

Magny-Cours (France), 2 October 2015 – The French weekend got off on the right foot for Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils. Leon Haslam, fourth (with 1’38.330) in the combined standings, proved to be fast from the first laps astride his RSV4, then continuing to improve on his times. It was a shame that the British rider ran into traffic that kept him from putting a better time on the sheets, but it didn't stop him from demonstrating a promising race pace.

For Jordi Torres this was the nth apprenticeship Friday on a track that he is taking on for the first time and which proved to be more difficult than the Spanish Superbike rookie had expected after having a “taste” of it virtually in video games. The 42 laps he put in, more than anyone else, served to assimilate the reference points on the Névers track, an apprenticeship programme that has already made good progress, as his seventh best time (1’38.824) in the afternoon session shows.

Leon Haslam: “I'd say that we got off to a good start. From this morning I had a good feeling with my RSV4. We worked well, trying both tyre options on the front and the rear. Unfortunately I ran into a lot of traffic during my runs so the time isn't what I could have done on a free track. As for consistency and pace, on the other hand, we are doing rather well. Now we just need to work as usual to find a few more solutions for tomorrow.”

Jordi Torres: “Today went well. We did a good job on a rather difficult track. I didn't expect it to be this hard after trying it in the video games. There are a lot of downhill sections that make it hard to hold the line, so you have to play with the gas to keep your trajectory. This morning I was struggling to get a clean lap in, but the feeling was getting better lap by lap, thanks in part to the teamwork with Leon who had a great FP1 and helped me out. In the most violent braking sections I'm still not quite fast enough. I can't seem to do it as well as the others. I'll sleep on it tonight and tomorrow I'm sure we'll take another step forward.”



Sofuoglu heads WSS combined times on Friday

World Supersport leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) topped the opening day’s on track activity at Magny-Cours, leading the way thanks to the 1.41.660s he set in the morning session.

Behind the Turk, who could wrap up his fourth WSS title on Sunday, was a confident and fast Lucas Mahias, who closed to within 0.091s aboard his MG Competition Yamaha.

Third overall on the combined times was PJ Jacobsen (CORE’’ Motorsport Thailand), the American suffering a front end crash at Adelaide with 17 minutes of the session remaining. Great work by the team ensured he made it back on track, losing very little time.

Positions fourth to sixth were taken by Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and recently married Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25).

Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) was seventh ahead of Nico Terol (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who continues his WSS adaption, the Spanish rider ending the day eighth ahead of Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini) and Kevin Wahr, who recovered from an early FP1 technical problem to round out the top ten.

Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) suffered a huge crash in FP1 when running 3rd. The Englishman was sat in leathers in his garage throughout FP2 as his team raced against the clock to repair his machine. Running out of time he will have to wait until FP3 to show his true potential. He ended the day eleventh overall courtesy of his morning time.

There were some eye catching performances from a number of ‘wildcard’ and ‘one event’ riders, WSS debutants Xavi Pinsach (Team Lorini) and Estonian Hannes Soomer who is riding for Kallio Racing) finished day one in 17th and 20th respectively.

World Supersport Magny-Cours - Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2

1 - Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing 1'41.660

2 - Lucas Mahias MG Competition Yamaha +0.091

3 - PJ Jacobsen CORE'' Motorsport Thailand +0.397


Bruised Gino 11th in France

Fri, 02 Oct 2015

CIA LANDLORDS INSURANCE HONDA’S Gino Rea suffered a high-speed crash in the morning session, while competing in the top four, at the 11th round of the World Supersport Championship at Magny Cours in France. He didn’t ride in the afternoon but his early lap time was good enough to finish the day 11th.

Gino said: “I am pretty banged up. I have a fracture to the top of my middle right finger, my shoulder may have tissue or tendon inflammation and there is skin off my knee. The worst thing will be the finger on my throttle and brake hand. It was a high-speed crash and very violent. The boys worked really hard to get me out in the afternoon and I had my leathers on ready to go but we just ran out of time. We’ll have another go tomorrow.”

Martin Cardenas is 14th with Aiden Wagner 18h and Kevin Manfredi 19th at the end of the opening practice sessions. There is a further practice session tomorrow ahead of qualifying in the afternoon. The race takes place at 1040 local time on Sunday, October 4th.

CIA Landlords Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Gino was going very well in the session this morning and on course to improve again when he suffered a high speed crash. Due to extensive damage to the bike we just failed to get him out in FP2. Everything is ready for the morning FP3 session.

“Martin improved in lap time in the afternoon but there is more to come from him and I think we will see a significant step up in FP3 and qualifying.

“It is Aiden’s first visit to Magny Cours and he continues to improve all the time. It was a big improvement in lap time for Kevin this afternoon and his position doesn’t really reflect the progress made. They should both be in the group fighting for points come the race.”


Superstock 600 - Double top-5 for San Carlo Team Italia in the first practice at Magny-Cours

Michael Ruben Rinaldi really close to the best time, Andrea Tucci is 5th.

The conclusive round of the Superstock 600 European Championship at Nevers Magny-Cours starts with the right premises for San Carlo Team Italia. In the first two sessions of free practice, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Andrea Tucci emerged positively, being both in the top-5 in the combined timesheet: 2nd overall the winner of Jerez, 5th the Lombard rider who wants the third place in the championship.

Author, during the inaugural session, of the second time in 1'45"092, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, in the afternoon, improved further and he got a remarkable 1'43"965 at just 77 thousandths from Augusto Fernandez (Honda), in 1'43"965, author of the best lap during FP2. As his teammate did, also Andrea Tucci reached high levels, fifth in the two sessions of practice, being able to improve his times in the second session until a best personal time in 1'44"341.

Both proving to have an impressive race pace, the two riders of San Carlo Team Italia will give their best tomorrow in the official qualifying scheduled starting from 11:45, followed by the last race of the 2015 calendar at 17:50.

Michael Rinaldi (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #21) 2nd, 1'43"965

"I am not 100% satisfied yet, but to be second in the standings is a positive signal in view of tomorrow. Magny-Cours is a difficult track: it combines fast sectors with slower turns, so it's not easy to find immediately the right set up. With the team we did a great job and, I am sure of it, tomorrow we will find the ideal balance to do our best in race. Anyway it's just Friday, the important is to be in the best conditions to do our best when it counts, in qualifying and race."

Andrea Tucci (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #44) 5th, 1'44"341

"We have worked very well with the team, doing some comparative tests that will be necessary to express our best tomorrow. In the second session, on my first lap with new tyre I was able to be immediately at just 3 tenths from the record of the track, then unfortunately I didn't improve because of the traffic caused by slower riders. Anyway I am already in the group of the firsts at just 4 tenths from the best time of today, confident to do well tomorrow starting from the qualifying."

Stefano Cruciani (Sport Manager - San Carlo Team Italia STK600)

"The first day of practice was surely positive. We did a good work of set up and we have only 2/3 details to perfect tomorrow during the qualifying. Both our riders, even though they're were not able to do a perfect lap because of the traffic, were really competitive: to be in 2nd and 5th place respectively with Michael and Andrea is an encouraging signal for tomorrow. Compared to the previous races, here at Magny-Cours we think that there are more riders able to fight for the front positions, so we will have to do our best to finish the 2015 season with a great result for the team."


Smith fourth on opening day at Magny-Cours

Pata Honda’s Kyle Smith set the fourth fastest time in today’s opening free practice sessions in preparation for Sunday’s tenth round World Supersport championship at Magny-Cours in France.

Smith, 24, fired his Honda CBR600RR around the 4.411km circuit in a time of 1m42.228s, less than 0.5s off the provisional pole time of local specialist Lucas Mahias and just behind fellow Honda rider PJ Jacobsen, who was third fastest today.

Smith and his crew will persevere with fine-tuning the settings on the bike in tomorrow’s third free practice session and then aim for a strong grid position in the afternoon qualifying session ahead of Sunday’s 19-lap race.

Kyle Smith - P4

It’s been a positive day and I’m happy with P4 at the end of the day. I’ve felt comfortable on the bike but, as usual, there are a few areas that we need to work on in order to go a little bit faster. We need to find a little more drive out of some of the corners, but the pace is OK and I’m pretty pleased with that result at the end of day one.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

This morning Kyle had a steady start but in the afternoon he was struggling a little to pick up the pace. We tried several things and, in the end, we made some changes to the front of the bike that Kyle needed to have the confidence to push a little harder. In his last stint he was able to improve the time quite dramatically compared to the morning and that put him fourth. We still have to improve but the direction we went was definitely the right way.


Friday's Words & Pictures

#FrenchWorldSBK

Round 12 of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship began today with the two opening free practice sessions that, combined with the third one scheduled for tomorrow at 9:45am local time (GMT+2) will decide the twenty riders qualifying for the Tissot-Superpole of the Fassi French Round. Here is what some of the protagonists of today's action had to say during this afternoon's official press conference.

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team - 1st

Twitter: @jonathanrea Instagram: @jonathan_rea Facebook: JonathanReaOfficial

“It's a good start and nice to be back with the leading riders. In Jerez we struggled a bit so for sure my aim this weekend is to be back on the podium. We did a good job today which is important because some people are saying that it will rain tomorrow.”

Chaz Davies - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team - 2nd

Twitter: @chazdavies Instagram: @chazdavies7 Facebook: chazdavies7

“I’m fairly pleased with how today went. I’ve always had a bit of a strange time here at Magny-Cours in the past but today we’ve made a good start and I hope that we can continue on like this tomorrow. We’ve continued with the work carried out at the Jerez test, also concentrating on tyre selection. We’ve still got work to do, I’d like to improve my bike’s turning a little more for example, but I’m happy with the progress made today.”

Tom Sykes - Kawasaki Racing Team - 3rd

Facebook: Tom-Sykes-66 Twitter: TheRealTomSykes

"We're happy with how today went and of course our aim for this weekend is to beat Chaz and win races. We have a few things to try tomorrow morning to improve the bike and whether the weather throws at us we'll be ready. I'd like to sort second place out myself and I certainly won't be asking for anyone to assist me."

Sylvain Guintoli - Pata Honda World Superbike - 12th

Twitter: SylvainGuintoli Facebook: SylvainGuintoliOfficialPage Instagram: sylvainguintoli

"This morning was good straightaway. We were able to get into some decent lap times early on and we were only 0.4s from the front with a good time. But it then became a struggle to go faster this afternoon and I could only match the morning time and not improve. I felt like I was riding on the limit and couldn’t go any faster. We’ve got some different geometry and settings to use tomorrow morning to try and improve where we are weak, and we’re lacking a little on top speed, too. I know the track here really well and I know how to go fast quite quickly but improving after that is quite difficult."

Randy de Puniet - Voltcom Crescent Suzuki - 16th

Twitter: RandydePuniet14 Facebook: randy.depuniet.39 Instagram: randydepuniet14

“I’m not that happy about the first day, ok it is the first time I have ridden here for many years, but the feeling with the bike is like Jerez not like Malaysia and Laguna as I would like. We have tried some adjustments which improved during the morning session, but this afternoon we tried something different again which did not work for me. The rhythm is not good enough so we need to find something for tomorrow morning because we need one second to be inside the top ten. I hope we can take half a step with the bike and I will find the last half to be able to fight at this point."


Round Number: 
12
2015

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