Press releases after Sunday's races at Magny-Cours:
Davies dominates to take the victory in France
France the setting for a tense race two
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) took an excellent victory in Race 2 at the Pirelli French Round, seizing control in the opening stages and not looking back from there to eventually cross the line three seconds ahead of nearest challenger Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). Completing the podium in third was Lowes’ Yamaha colleague Michael van der Mark after a great battle between the pair.
Coming from 11th on the grid Davies charged through the field to register his 27th WorldSBK win in tricky conditions as rain fell sporadically over the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit during the race. Behind him Lowes and Van der Mark contested second place and the Englishman ultimately beat his Dutch teammate by 1.55s after an intriguing duel between the Yamaha duo.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) crossed the line fourth, followed by fifth placed Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati).
Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) all featured in the top ten.
Early in the race Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) crashed at turn 16 and in the aftermath of his accident Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) appeared to clip Laverty’s Aprilia RSV4 RF. The newly crowned triple champion Rea then went back into pit lane and would retire from the race, whilst Laverty picked up his machine to finally finish the race 17th.
A technical problem at turn 15 for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) ended his race at the halfway point, when the British rider was in contention for an elusive podium finish. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was an unfortunate last lap crasher.
Follow the remainder of the WorldSBK season with the WorldSBK VideoPass, with the next race set to take place at the Pirelli Spanish Round over the 20th -22nd October weekend, the penultimate round of 2017.
P1 - Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
“We had our ups and downs this season, we were miles off Tom and now we’ve closed up a bit. We have definitely closed the gap to be something we can catch, so we are looking forward to the last four races. I think everything is wide open so I’m very much looking forward to it.”
P2 - Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
"This weekend has been a bit strange, with the weather conditions yesterday and today with the mental rain. I think it shows the progress of the Yamaha, we have been chasing the Kawasaki and Ducati and whenever we are thrown with different situations, we are there to take advantage of it. And I'm really happy to share the podium with Michael."
P3 - Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
"It's our second podium this year, and I am so happy. Yesterday we had some bad luck but today I got a good start, and we fought our way to the front. It was hard because of the drops of rain, and when I got to the front and found my pace, we were able to run up at the front. However, I made a small mistake and in the end just didn't have the pace to fight with Alex."
#FrenchWorldSBK at Magny-Cours: Race 2
1. Chaz Davies Ducati
2. Alex Lowes Yamaha +3.006
3. Michael van der Mark Yamaha +4.556
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team back to winning ways with Chaz Davies, 1st in Race 2 at Magny Cours. Marco Melandri is 5th
After being hampered by a technical issue in Race 1, Chaz Davies bounced back with a dominant win in Race 2 of eleventh round of the WorldSBK Championship at Magny Cours (France). The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team thus seized its 8th overall win of the season.
In tricky conditions, with a light rain falling intermittently on different sections of the track, the Welshman built his win (the 27th of his career) in the early laps, when he was the only rider capable of lapping in the 1:38 mark after a blistering start from 11th position. Davies had thus built a 5-second gap at half-way point, then managed it skillfully until the checkered flag.
Marco Melandri, on the other hand, faced an uphill race after not being able to take part to WUP in the morning due to a technical issue, which prevented him from verifying the changes made to the setup of his bike. The Italian got off to a strong start, but struggled to recover ground in the traffic due to rear-grip issues. Despite improving his performance progressively, as shown by his personal fastest lap at the very end, Melandri had to settle for fifth position.
After ten rounds, Davies (327 points) and Melandri (281 points) are respectively third and fourth in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) for the penultimate round of the championship, scheduled for October 20-22.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1st
“Yesterday was bitter, but today was sweet. This is the best way to put behind us a couple of tough races. I woke up feeling really motivated and I think it showed in the opening laps, as I was making passes and got to the front pretty quickly from 11th position. It wasn’t an easy race though. The rain was on and off throughout, and it was hard to tell where the wet patches could be. It was a matter of pushing hard but not too much, just enough to keep the gap in check, and that’s what we did. Now we’re looking forward to the last two races, the hunt for second position in the championship is still open and we can be fast both in Jerez and Qatar.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 5th
“It’s been a positive weekend overall. The conditions were not easy and we took home a good amount of points, but to finish with your worst result is never ideal. Today’s weather could have created an occasion for us, but we weren’t lucky during WUP, when a technical problem prevented us from going out. After changing the bike, despite keeping the same setup, I didn’t have the same feeling. I struggled with grip since the start of the race, especially coming out of slow corners, and lost contact with the front. Now we head to Jerez, a track that I really like, and the goal stays the same: to take the top step of the podium.”
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba CEO and Team Principal
“After yesterday’s difficulties, Chaz showed great character bouncing back with an emotional win, especially given the tricky conditions. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as well today with Marco. After being forced to skip WUP, he couldn’t find the best feeling during the race. We’ll keep working as hard as possible to get both of them on the podium at Jerez.”
Sensational Double Podium for Pata Yamaha in Race 2 at Magny-Cours
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team delivered a stellar performance in Race 2 on Sunday at Magny Cours, round 11 of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Alex Lowes followed up his superb ride to fifth in the wet Race 1, by charging to an incredible second-place finish to record his third podium of 2017. His teammate Michael van der Mark also put on a brilliant show of riding after an excellent fight with Lowes to secure third place and record the Pata Yamaha team's first double podium in WorldSBK.
After Lowes' brave ride to fifth in the treacherous wet Race 1 conditions, the 27-year-old lined up in the middle of the front row for Sunday's Race 2. Drops of rain started to fall just before the race got underway but this had no effect on Lowes. When the lights went out he got the holeshot into Turn 1 and took the lead. Battling with his teammate at the front in the opening stages, Lowes managed to open a 0.4s gap and led the way until the fourth lap when Chaz Davies passed him, as the rain became heavier. As Lowes settled into a rhythm and began assessing the grip levels in the tricky conditions, he was passed by Leon Camier and dropped down to third, although this was to be short-lived as Camier was forced to retire on lap 10, with Lowes retaking second place. By this point, his gap to Chaz Davies in the lead was over 5 seconds, but the 2013 British Superbike Champion set his sights on closing the gap, putting together an amazing run of seven consecutive laps in the low 1:39s or better, and with two laps to go he was less than three seconds behind the leader.
His late race pace was sensational but with the rain getting heavier and the grip levels dropping, he maturely realised that the race win was not on the cards and brought his Pata Yamaha R1 home in second, just 3.006s behind Davies. It was the third time Lowes has stood on the podium in 2017, to add to his second-place finish at Misano and third at his home round in Donnington, and equalled his best WorldSBK result despite the fact he was still feeling the after effects from his Race 2 highside in Portimao. The 20 points he secured means the British rider remains fifth in the championship standings but now has 200 points with two rounds remaining in the season.
Van der Mark had shown incredible fortitude in Saturday's Race 1, remounting after a crash and storming through the field from last to secure ninth place after a brilliant comeback. It got even better in Sunday's Race 2 as the 24-year-old, lining up in sixth on the grid, got an amazing start, riding around the outside of a number of riders through the first two corners to blast to the front of the field and do battle with his teammate for the lead. He crossed the line after the first lap in third, just behind Lowes, but with the conditions worsening, he decided to focus on finding his own race pace. He dropped to fourth briefly as he built his confidence on the slippery track but as the race progressed the Dutch rider's pace improved dramatically and he was back in third by lap ten and starting to close the one-second gap to his teammate Lowes in second.
Just like his teammate, he put together an incredible sequence of laps in the low 1:39s, showing brilliant consistency and by lap 15 he was right on the back wheel of Lowes, battling for second and chasing down Davies in the lead. Then, as the rain got heavier and track conditions worsened he had a couple of big moments and, unfortunately, he just did not have the grip left in his tyres to push any harder. Maintaining his pace right to the end, van der Mark crossed the line in third, just 1.550s behind his teammate, to record his second rostrum in the last three races - after his second-place finish in Race 2 at Portimao - and secure the Pata Yamaha team's first ever double podium in WorldSBK. The 16 points he received now sees the 2014 World Supersport Champion sixth in the overall standings with 189 points, just 11 behind his teammate Lowes.
This superb performance by the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team over a challenging weekend, with ever-changing track conditions, demonstrates the progress of the project since Yamaha's return to the WorldSBK championship in 2016. They now head to round 12 of the 2017 FM Superbike World Championship in Jerez on the 20th-22nd of October full of confidence and ready to fight for more podiums. Check out the Race 2 results from Magny-Cours.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 2nd +3.006s
"Honestly, this weekend has been slightly strange with the different weather conditions yesterday and then today with just that little bit of rain and difficult grip levels. I think it is a perfect example of how well the Pata Yamaha Team are working because, although we are still looking to close the gap to Kawasaki and Ducati in terms of out-and-out performance, whenever there is a chance to take advantage of a 'different' situation, we have been there. It is a fantastic day for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team! I am really happy to share the podium with Michael because, like I said, the team have been performing so well and I am looking forward to the rest of the season now! I try to do the best I can in every race and my goal is to try and challenge these guys every week, that is the target and what Yamaha employ me to do. I think if I take a step back, I can be quite happy overall with the season up to now, but as a rider, you always want more and there are some events where more could have been achieved. I still feel that there is still plenty more to come from myself and the R1 and we will keep working hard to improve!"
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 3rd +4.556s
"It is my second podium of the season and I am so happy! Yesterday in the first race I was a bit unlucky but I scored some points. Today it was good to start from sixth on the grid for Race 2. I had a really good start and fought my way to the front but it was really difficult as there were some big drops of rain falling, so it was difficult to know what to expect. It was good for me to follow the other guys because I could see what they were doing. I was pushing quite hard but I also didn't want to crash, it was so difficult but I tried my best and managed to stay on the bike. I just focused on finding my pace and it was similar to the guys in front. Towards the end of the race I closed the gap to Alex, but then I made some small mistakes and I just didn't have the tyres anymore to attack again. It was a little bit of a weird race but Alex and I were really strong today and it was great to share the podium with my teammate. It was not the easiest race to control but in the end, we were both on the podium and that is what we aim for. We have made a good step forward and this result, along with Portimao two weeks ago, shows we can fight for the podium at every round. I am really happy and I look forward to Jerez already. On Friday I was really fast immediately, so I think we have found a good base with the R1 now and this has given me a lot of confidence. Jerez is a special track for me, and one I really like. We cannot wait to go there!"
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
"This afternoon's race was another typically complicated Magny-Cours one, but the ultimate result for both Alex, Michael, and the R1 was on pure merit and another indication of the step-by-step progress that the project is making on all fronts. Alex has struggled with his starts over the last couple of races, so to secure the lead from the front row was great to see, and this was backed up by an incredible start by Michael from the second row. There were stages of the race where it was difficult for all the riders to know how hard to push but as Alex found his rhythm and needed to respond to Michael's pressure in the latter stages, the true pace was evident and doing consecutive laps in the 1:38s actually moved us a lot closer to Chaz Davies in the lead. Second place for Alex, backing up yesterday's very solid ride in the rain, is just rewards for his efforts following a difficult Portimao event and will give him the confidence to aim for more podiums before the end of the season. As a team, we are also extremely happy with Michaels performance, fighting hard to get into the podium group and closing on Alex to challenge for second place. As Alex pushed even harder, Michael had a couple of moments in the tricky conditions and it is a sign of his mature riding mentality that he decided to bring his R1 home to achieve Pata Yamaha's first double podium. Congratulations to the riders, the team, and to Yamaha!"
WorldSBK Teams’ Championship Win For KRT
One day after Jonathan Rea (KRT) had clinched the Riders’ title in the FIM Superbike World Championship Kawasaki Racing Team took the Team’s championship too, after a dramatic second race at Magny Cours.
Tom Sykes (KRT) finished seventh after a gritty performance in the second 21-lap race in France but new champion Jonathan Rea (KRT) was forced out after his footpeg clipped a fallen rider’s bike and broke off, also injuring his right foot. Entering the pits for bike repairs and a new race boot, he was eventually forced to retire in pitlane.
Sykes had finished the first lap in fifth position, after a third row start, which was required under the new reverse grid rules that operate in WorldSBK. Tom gradually lost ground as he lost rear traction and was to finish seventh, unable to reach the podium level he had shown in race one due to a less than optimum tyre choice today.
Carrying left hand injuries from a heavy crash that made him miss the previous races in Portimao, Sykes still battled hard to the finish well and maintained his overall second place in the championship points.
The race was a difficult affair for all, as the threatening rains arrived in a very light form, and slowly got heavier as the laps counted down.
With two rounds and four individual races remaining this season Rea and Sykes have amassed enough points between them for KRT to add the a third Teams’ Championship to Rea’s third Riders’ title win in succession.
The battle for the Manufacturers’ crown will go forward to the next round at Jerez de la Frontera, with racedays on 21st and 22nd October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Without the incident that put me out of the race we could have been fighting for the win. My pace all weekend in the dry has been a little bit of a step ahead of the others. The conditions were a little intermittent throughout the race, so it is hard to say how it would have gone. But I was confident to be able to race with Chaz. Wet or dry we have set the level this weekend. The good news is that I have had some checks on my right foot and nothing is broken. I hit something really solid on the other bike, as it has broken skin on my foot and it was enough to take my footpeg completely off; the whole set-up. So I am very lucky and it could have been a lot worse. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The team won their championship today too. As soon as I got changed out of my leathers I saw the caption appear on the screen in my office saying they had won, so I rushed back into the pitbox to give my team manager Guim a big hug and say congratulations!”
Tom Sykes, stated: “We chose a harder rear tyre today which did not quite work for me today in the cooler conditions, but the temperature seemed quite cold for the softer compound. After a couple of laps I struggled to get the bike into the turn, and especially out of turns. I tried to compensate in other areas but with a few drops of rain I could have done with that softer compound rear tyre. I am still second place in the championship, nine points ahead, and if someone had offered me that two weeks ago I would have probably taken it. The team has two good riders inside the camp, it is a great team who give us a great motorcycle. It is a big team effort. Yesterday it was the Riders’ Championship with Jonathan, today the Teams’ one and if all goes to plan we will get the Manufacturers one as well.”
Race 2 disappointment for Milwaukee Aprilia at Magny-Cours
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours 01 / 10 / 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia struggled in Race 2 at Magny-Cours on Sunday, with Eugene Laverty crashing on Lap 2 and Lorenzo Savadori retiring on the last lap.
Eugene fell at Turn 16 on the second lap while locked into a fight with Sykes for P4. Exiting the corner Eugene lost the rear but was able to keep his RSV4-RF running. He continued and had a lonely race to his finishing position of P18.
Lorenzo had a slow getaway initially and had fought his way through to P8 by Lap 2. After shadowing Sykes in P7 he made a strong pass on Lap 7, and was soon on the hunt for Melandri in P6. His rapid pace let him reel Melandri in, and on Lap 9 he made his move. A retirement for Camier promoted Lorenzo to P5, and he maintained his pace until the final lap, when a technical problem with his bike forced him to retire from what would have been a season-best finish of P5.
There are positives for the team to take from Round 11 at Magny-Cours, including Eugene's strong second-half surge in Race 1 and Lorenzo's much-improved Race 2 pace, which demonstrate the big progress made with the new generation of Aprilia RSV4-RF.
The team next head to Jerez for the penultimate round of the 2017 season, as development work begins to look towards 2018.
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 2: P18
“The rain was coming down the whole race today but we were still pushing. It was just on the limit of not enough rain to make a difference to the conditions, but my crash on Lap 2 was a surprise. When Sykes passed me at Turn 16 I opened the throttle a little more to cover, but I lost the rear and I didn't see it coming.
I got the bike started again and continued, but it was very frustrating to go out so early after a positive race in the wet yesterday. It's hard to say how far I could have got after a lap and a half. I was maybe a bit too tentative in some of the cold left-hand corners because of the weather, but my Sector 1 time on the first lap was second quickest so it showed we had pace we'll never know for sure.
We've made big strides overall this weekend, and the progress in Race 1 was the first time we managed that. There are positives to take from that and with four races left we will work to end the season in good shape."
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 2: DNF, technical problem
"The bike felt good today. I started quite far down the grid and my launch was not so great, and I lost time passing lots some of the other riders. There was still some rain on the track but I could still push.
I think we had the pace and rhythm to reach the podium today. The bike was setup similar to Friday Free Practice, and it felt consistent which helped me to keep moving forward and making passes.
It was unlucky for us that we experienced a technical problem on the last lap and had to retire, because our pace was really good. But we have learnt a lot of new things from this weekend and it is promising that we can race like today. We are looking forward to Jerez, and we are already working hard to achieve strong results there."
Double top ten for Althea BMW at Magny-Cours
Nevers (France), Sunday 1 October 2017
The eleventh World Superbike round has concluded today at the French track of Nevers Magny-Cours and for the Althea BMW Racing team it was all about the recovery, with Jordi Torres finishing in eighth place, Raffaele De Rosa tenth.
Superbike - Race 2 – with light rain falling in certain sections of the track, Torres and De Rosa got away well from 20th and 21st place respectively, immediately making up several positions each. During the course of lap two, De Rosa was able to progress from thirteenth to tenth place, while Torres positioned eleventh, right behind his team-mate, by lap four. Lapping with similar lap times to each other, Raffaele and Jordi swapped places on lap nine, lying ninth and tenth mid-way through the race. Maintaining a constant pace all the way to the line, Althea BMW powered past the chequered flag in eighth place with Torres and tenth with De Rosa.
With two championship rounds left to run, Torres retains ninth place in the standings with 140 points while De Rosa has 45 points, and positions 16th.
“We were starting from the back of the grid and knew it would be tough, also because it started to rain right when we were on the grid. Through the first laps, I tried to understand the level of grip but think I lost too much time during the phases in which it was raining. It was a strange race, in mixed conditions, and I don’t feel that I gave 100% because with the rain I held back a little too much perhaps, not managing the race as well as I could have. We’ll take what we’ve learned here though and move on to Jerez…”
Raffaele De Rosa
“I lined up for today's race in last position but did my best to make a good start, immediately making up some places. I tried to get into my rhythm, which wasn’t easy given the rain, only light, but different in each section of the track. When Torres passed me, with a stronger pace, I tried to maintain my position and managed to do so, despite a few small errors. My feeling with the bike is gradually improving, and I hope to take another step forward at Jerez…”
“Definitely a tough race considering the conditions, but particularly due to the fact that we’re not yet able to effectively interpret the bike’s potential, which is not bad. We’re having some difficulties, especially over the first laps, and this then conditions the rest of the race. To be honest, I expected more of both riders; they clearly weren't able to get the best out of the bike. They had problems but, having seen their lap times towards the end of the race, which were pretty good in fact, I believe that if they’d been able to make more of the central phase, they could have achieved better results. I think that both riders need to give a more concrete performance as of the next race.”
Giugliano makes up for lack of early luck as Gagne improves best WorldSBK result
Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours, France
Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team’s Davide Giugliano and Jake Gagne were 11th and 12th, respectively, at the end of the 21-lap, second encounter of the eleventh WorldSBK round of the season, which was contested today at the ‘Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours’ in Central France.
Despite losing a handful of places at the start, Giugliano managed to stay in touch with the leading group but eventually had to run wide to avoid Eugene Laverty after the Irishman highsided at the exit of turn 15. The former STK1000 Champion re-joined at the back of the field in 18th place, from where his steady recovery began. In the final part of the race, the 27-year-old from Rome was able to further improve his speed and showed a top-10 rhythm as he went first past his team mate Gagne on lap 17 for 14th place. He then overtook both West and Andreozzi to seal 11th place at the chequered flag after setting his fastest time of the race on his third-last lap.
Jake Gagne enjoyed a decent start from row six and kept a steady pace in the first half of the encounter as he rounded out the top-15 while trying to get accustomed to racing in intermittent drizzle. The 24-year-old from San Diego then got up to speed and started to log some competitive lap-times as he made his way past some rivals and set his quickest time at the very end of the race, which helped him consolidate 12th place at the line – and set a new personal best result for him in the series.
The penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at Spain’s ‘Circuito de Jerez’ in three weekend’s time.
Davide Giugliano 34
It’s been an unlucky race, because I feel I had the pace to be fighting for a top-6 finish. The realistic goal before the start was to finish between 8th and 11th, but we turned out to be quicker than we expected. It was hard to push when I found myself at the back of the field, because even though I knew I had to make up ground, I was riding on my own so I didn’t know how wet it was on different parts of the circuit and how conditions were evolving throughout the lap. We put together a good comeback, we made some passes and we showed a good pace, so I think there’s a good synergy developing between the bike and myself now. The guys have done an amazing job: I feel that the bike is improving a lot, and that was the reason I was chosen in the first place so I’m happy. The top speed was also excellent today. Obviously there is still a lot to improve, but things are going in the right direction.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne 45
The big thing for me today is that, unlike MotoAmerica, the flag-to-flag rule means that even if it’s spitting rain, you can still race on slick tyres. This for me was a completely new scenario, so it took me a while to figure out how much I could push in these conditions. Towards the end, I started going faster and faster and I even set my personal fastest time of the whole weekend on the very last lap. Twelfth place is not bad, but I feel I had the potential to do much better today. I’m happy with what I’ve learned and that I was able to improve outing after outing and race after race. I want to thank the whole team because it’s been another amazing experience and I had a lot of fun.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Ronald ten Kate
It was a very interesting second race, especially given the tricky and unpredictable conditions the whole field encountered today. Davide was riding well until he had to take an unwanted trip onto the gravel in order to avoid Eugene when he fell off. This setback made him lose touch with the group fighting for the top-10, which is a shame because it looked like he had the pace to get in the mix up there. He made a good comeback nevertheless so we are happy with this performance. It was the first time for Jake to ride on slicks with rain coming down, because MotoAmerica sporting rules are different in that regard. Once he figured how to ride in these conditions he really improved his pace, so the question mark is on how much more competitive he could have been otherwise. We really enjoyed working with him again.
WorldSSP: Tuuli takes debut victory in France
French thriller sees a Yamaha 1-2 in cooler conditions
At the Pirelli French Round on Sunday Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) followed up on his first WorldSSP pole result on Saturday by winning the race at the 4.411km Magny-Cours track by 0.875s from second placed Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team). The podium was completed by American rider PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
Tuuli rode superbly on his Yamaha YZF R6 over the course of the 19 lap race in front of the French fans and although he came under pressure from fellow Yamaha-equipped rider Caricasulo in the final stages he held his nerve to take a career-first win in the series.
Jacobsen also performed well from ninth on the grid, making his way through the field for his third podium of the year on his MV Agusta – ultimately crossing the line 5.692s adrift of winner Tuuli.
Finishing the race in fourth place Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) moved to the top of the WorldSSP championship standings by nine points from the absent Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with two rounds remaining.
After Mahias in fourth his compatriot Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) was the second best French finisher in fifth place. Cluzel just beat Italian pair Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Factory Vamag) and Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI) to the line, whilst race-winner Tuuli’s Kallio Racing colleague Sheridan Morais was eighth.
Britons Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) and Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) rounded out the top ten.
Defending World Champion Sofuoglu unfortunately missed the race following a crash in Superpole at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours on Saturday. Suffering fractures to his hip, the Turkish rider was declared unfit at the Pirelli French Round and it was announced he would have to miss the race as he flies back to Turkey for surgery.
Follow the remainder of the WorldSSP season with the WorldSBK VideoPass, with the next race set to take place at the Pirelli Spanish Round over the 20th -22nd October weekend, the penultimate round of 2017.
P1 - Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing)
"I didn't expect to win but ts been a really difficult season, until we got our new bikes , my riding was able to improve. I like this track and we were able to get a really good setting and we took the right tyre choice. I was able to ride consistent laps and I'm really happy. Thanks to everyone who has supported me"
#FrenchWorldSBK: WorldSSP Race
1. Niki Tuuli (FIN) Yamaha
2. Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Yamaha +0.875
3. PJ Jacobsen (USA) MV Agusta +5.692
Mahias retakes Championship Lead as Caricasulo Secures Podium at Magny-Cours
It was an incredibly dramatic race for the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team on Sunday in damp conditions at Magny-Cours, round ten of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship. Federico Caricasulo stormed to his third podium of the season after battling for the victory the entire race, crossing the line in second just 0.875s behind the winner. His teammate Lucas Mahias mounted a superb comeback after contact with another rider saw him down in 19th at the end of the first lap, with the local hero fighting back superbly to finish in an incredible fourth place and lead the championship standings by nine points.
Caricasulo qualified in fourth but began Sunday's race from third after an injury to Kenan Sofuoglu, with the Italian making up an all-Yamaha front row with Kallio Racing's Niki Tuuli and Sheridan Morais. After a blistering start, the Italian rider found himself in a superb three-way battle for the win with Tuuli and Morais, with the lead changing hands numerous times. As the race progressed this turned into an incredible two-horse race between Caricasulo and Tuuli, with the riders swapping places at almost every corner as they fought each other on their Yamaha R6s. Neither rider could break away from the other until a small mistake by Caricasulo on lap 12 allowed Tuuli to open up a one-second gap at the front. The 21-year-old responded superbly and closed the gap once more, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process - a 1:42.185 - but, unfortunately, by doing so he used up what was left of his tyres and he could not maintain that pace during the last couple of laps, finishing the race in second, just 0.875s behind Tuuli after an excellent duel and securing his third podium of the season. It was Tuuli's maiden WorldSSP victory and mean there were two Yamahas R6s on the podium for the fourth time this season. Caricasulo collected 20 points for his efforts and is now sixth in the championship standings with 80 points.
Mahias arrived in Magny-Cours second in the championship, just four points behind Kenan Sofuoglu. Unfortunately, the local hero had a technical issue in SP2 on Saturday that meant he could only qualify in 12th and he was still feeling sore after his crash in a wet FP3. Sadly, his title rival Kenan Sofuoglu crashed during SP2 and was forced to withdraw from the weekend due to injury. This meant Mahias started from 11th on the grid. When the lights went out the 28-year-old enjoyed a good start but on the first lap but made contact with another rider, which forced Mahias to run wide and drop down to 19th place by the time they crossed the line for the first time. Unbelievably, this just seemed to spur the French rider on at his home round and he showed blistering pace to storm through the field, passing rider after rider in an incredible display of riding, bringing his Yamaha R6 home in fourth to a rapturous reception from the French fans. The 13 points Mahias secured means he now has a nine-point lead in the championship standings over Sofuoglu, with the Turkish rider recovering from surgery on his injured pelvis. The GRT Yamaha team would like to wish Kenan a speedy recovery and we hope to see him back on track as soon as possible.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are back in action at Jerez for round 11 of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship on the 20th-22nd of October, where Mahias will have a chance of clinching the title if results go his way. Check out the full race results from Sunday in Magny-Cours.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 2nd +0.875s
"I am happy! I pushed very hard for the whole of the race, probably a bit too much during the second half of the race, because I made a mistake while battling for the lead with Niki Tuuli and then I did not have the tyres left to re-catch him. It is always better to win but I am happy because I have found a good feeling with my R6 and with my team and I am very happy with this. Today, I could fight for the victory and I believe that we can do the same in the last two races because I now have everything I need. We made a small change in my team and with the way we work, so I am more confident. I think the next two races will be easier because of this and I cannot wait for Jerez!"
GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team - 4th +9.433s
"It was an incredible race! For sure, I would have preferred to have finished on the podium at my home round in front of the French fans, but today was the same as a victory because at the beginning of the race, I didn't have much confidence and I was in quite a bit of pain after my crash in FP3. I wasn't even sure if it was possible to finish the race. At the start, I wanted to settle into a good rhythm but after the contact with another rider, I was down in 19th position. So, I thought, "Okay, stay calm," and I pushed and pushed to close the gap to the guys at the front. I overtook a lot of riders and to finish in fourth with everything that happened is incredible. Honestly, I am very sorry for what has happened to Kenan. I would have much preferred to have been able to battle with him today and it is real shame for the championship and the fans. In my eyes, he is a legend in WorldSSP but this is racing and I am really, really sorry for him and I wish him a speedy recovery. The championship is still completely open and I think it could go all the way down to Qatar!"
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
"It has been an incredible weekend, especially because it wasn't easy! We are so happy with Federico. His podium was fantastic. To finish in second and spend the whole race battling at the front, showing great pace, was very important. He has been very consistent and did a fantastic job. I want to say thank you to his team because they found a brilliant setting for his bike and the result is down to the whole team. Lucas was simply sensational. Starting from 11th after the issue in SP2 he had an incredible race. He made a good start but then another rider made contact with him which, in my eyes was not a fair move and I was unhappy about it but Lucas reacted superbly to come back from 19th to fourth and if there hadn't had been the contact at the beginning, he had the pace to fight for the win. He now has a nine-point lead in the championship and we will try everything to secure the title for Lucas. I would like to pass on my best wishes to Kenan and I hope he gets well soon because he has taken WorldSSP to another level over the last few years, so I wish him a speedy recovery. I want to say thanks to both riders, the whole team and of course Yamaha, who always give us the perfect package to go out and fight for the win."
Cluzel closes gap on third place in Championship at Magny Cours
PTR Honda·Sunday, October 1, 2017
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda's Jules Cluzel closed the gap for third place in the World Supersport Championship with an unfaltering ride to fifth place in France today.
Jules got a good start to the 19 lap race and was challenging early but was unable to hold his position against the charging field and settled for the crucial Championship points in the cool but dry conditions at the Circuit de Nevers Magny Cours.
Jules said: “I am just disappointed really, I was expecting a better weekend. I know that I had to win to be able to come back but I understood directly on Friday morning that this would be difficult. I just tried to do my best in the race. We knew that we were fast in the wet, it was a lot easier and I was hoping for rain but it didn't come. The guys behind me didn't pass me at the end so I can be happy because fifth was the best result we could do.”
After a disappointing qualifying, Hikari Okubo turned his weekend around finishing in 11th place from starting 26th on the grid. The Japanese rider dug deep to pick his way through the field and was rewarded with 5 championship points in his bid to finish the season in the top ten in the Championship.
Christoffer Bergman continued his run of points finishes with a determined 12th place at the 4.411km French circuit. Christoffer got a really good start to the race but using the same softer tyre as Jules, didn't have the pace to challenge for a desired top ten finish.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “Although we are disappointed not to be on the podium as that is our aim every race, we have closed the gap to Morais for third in the Championship and we have to look for the last two rounds to be 3rd or even 2nd in the Championship. To do that we need a minimum of two 3rd places. That is a realistic goal for us and has to be our aim to get the best Championship position possible.”
“This was probably Hikari's best ride of the year. He stuck at it and fought hard during the race, he probably passed more people than in any other race this year. He did a really good job.”
“Another good points scoring finish for Chris, he might have been better on the same tyre as Hikari used but I'm happy for him and the team. Everybody has done a good job today.”
Canducci Seventh After French WorldSSP Round
With Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) out of the Magny Cours WorldSSP race through a hip injury suffered in Superpole qualifying, the highest placed Kawasaki rider proved to be Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI Kawasaki), in seventh place.
After a five rider breakaway in the 19-lap WorldSSP race became a six rider fight, with Michael Canducci closing in on the leaders after starting from 11th place on the grid, the battle was on for the podium places.
Tenth on lap one Canducci was close to a top six placing by the end, as he rode across the line to take the chequered flag right inside the slipstream of much more experienced competitors Jules Cluzel and Lorenzo Zanetti.
Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made some set-up changes for the race but when his rear traction dropped off after a few laps he dropped places again and ended up 22nd.
In the championship Sofuoglu is now second, nine points from the lead, with Ryde 12th and Canducci 15th.
Two rounds remain in the championship, the first at Jerez de la Frontera, with raceday on Sunday October 22nd.
Michael Canducci, stated: “I am really happy about today especially after the past few races. I think this was a strong performance from us. I felt confident on the bike and I was the first Kawasaki rider to finish the race. I am proud of that and I hope that I can keep improving in the next races and build on the good result from today.”
Kyle Ryde, stated: “I struggled a lot from lap four onwards after not finding the right settings all weekend and we had to guess the set-up for the race but it was not ideal. I got a good start and got up to 19th. I felt strong but as soon as my SC0 tyre started to go off it started to push the front. It is not ideal to finish so far back so we have to go back to basics at the next round and hopefully it comes a bit better there.”
ESS rider Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) was 17th today, Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 19th and Peter Sebestyen (SSP Hungary by Pedercini Racing) 21st. Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) was 24th.
Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) retired at the start of the race and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) also did not make it to the end. Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) 17th was an early faller.
WorldSSP300: Garcia storms to victory in France
Spanish rider keeps title fight alive around Magny-Cours
With just two rounds remaining of the FIM Supersport World 300 Championship, Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) has made a big step towards his title fight, as he took a stunning victory in the closing laps in France.
Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) took the lead in the opening laps, as the fight for the victory in the 12 lap thriller developed, there were nine riders in with a chance of finishing in the top three positions. With the title fight fresh on the mind of the WorldSSP300 youngsters, no one was giving up and one second covered the top four.
Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing), who could have taken the title this weekend was up and the front for the majority of the race however the chasing pack wouldn’t let the Italian break away, and the battle boiled down to the final lap. With the final corners pivotal for the WorldSSP300 riders, it was anyone’s chance to take the lead but ultimately Garcia shot through on the final laps.
Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP300 Team) secured his debut podium in the series, as the Dutch rider was an early race leader but was able to secure a solid podium finish, behind Coppola. Despite being unable to secure the championship, Coppola was crowned the bLU cRU champion following a strong lead on the YZF-R3. Despite the world championship crown not being decided in France, the Halcourier Racing team were crowned the team champions, whilst Yamaha took the manufacturers crown.
Relive all of the stunning WorldSSP300 action around the Pirelli French Round, as well as some of the races throughout the season with the WorldSBK VideoPass.
P1 - Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing)
"I pushed every lap and I'm really happy for the victory. My objective is to go to Jerez in first position in the championship to fight for the title, and I did it so I'm really happy for that"
#FrenchWorldSBK: WorldSSP300 Race
1. Marc Garcia (ESP) Yamaha
2. Alfonso Coppola (ITA) Yamaha +0.273
3. Robert Schotman (NED) Yamaha +0.646
A tough Stock1000 race for Althea BMW at Magny-Cours
Nevers (France), Sunday 1 October 2017
The penultimate round of the Superstock 1000 championship concluded today at the French track of Nevers Magny-Cours. For the Althea riders, it proved to be a tough one that saw Marco Faccani cross the line in eleventh place, Julian Puffe (Althea MF84) thirteenth.
From the fifth row, Faccani maintained his position, thirteenth, through the opening laps. Moving up two places through the central phase of the race, Marco was pushing to close the gap that had opened between him and those immediately ahead of him but unfortunately he was unable to do more than eleventh. Puffe, 21st on the grid, made up a great deal of ground in the first two laps, moving up into 14th place on lap three. A constant pace allowed him to earn one more position during the latter stages, before crossing the line in thirteenth place.
After this penultimate championship round, Marco Faccani lies eighth in the general standings with 61 points, while Julian Puffe is thirteenth with 23 points. The two riders will be back on track, at Jerez in Spain, for the final round of the championship taking place over the weekend of 20-22 October.
“My grid position was bad but I made a really good start, moving straight up to 16th and then passing another three riders to climb to 13th. Mid-race I thought I’d be able to catch the group of three riders up ahead of me but although I got close, I was unable to actually reach and pass them. Anyway, thirteenth is a fairly good result, inside the points zone. I think we didn’t do a bad job considering yesterday’s qualifying and my grid position.”
"A very difficult race today. Starting further back meant I got caught up with the other guys and lost too much time during the first three or four laps. After that I tried to push to catch at least those guys right ahead of me but unfortunately I didn’t have time to do more than eleventh. A difficult weekend, we’ve taken a few points and now look ahead to the next race, which I hope goes better.”