Press releases from some of the teams and the series organizers ahead of the French round of WorldSBK at Magny-Cours:
#FRAWorldSBK: More than a numbers game
History on the horizon as WorldSBK takes on Magny-Cours
Riveting, electrifying and unpredictable: the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is coming into its final three events of the season, with the final European round of the year taking place at the Magny-Cours venue for the Pirelli French Round. Whilst the championship is still to play for, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) reaches his first opportunity to make it five WorldSBK titles on the bounce, but there’s plenty of fight left in Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) and the rest of the opposition just yet.
Dogged determination and unrivalled resilience – Jonathan Rea would never have imagined wrapping the championship up at Magny-Cours after the first 11 races of the season. But that is the situation that the Northern Irishman finds himself in, as he goes in search of title number five at the technical French track. Having achieved the double at the track in 2018, Rea’s form at Magny-Cours is good in recent years: three more wins, three further poles and four other podiums. Can anyone topple the championship-elect?
34-year-old Alvaro Bautista is Rea’s nearest – and only mathematical – challenger in the race to the crown in 2019. Having never been to the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Alvaro Bautista’s prospects of taking points away from Rea seem slim – although 2019 has already dealt the unforeseeable. “Until the mathematics say no, you have to fight” was what the Spaniard declared after his Race 2 win at Portimao and it is that mentality that will keep the fight alive. Will he rock up to another new track and put Rea’s championship celebrations on ice?
The battle for third place in the overall standings is still raging on behind the leading duo, as Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) heads teammate Michael van der Mark by just five points. Lowes may be under threat from his Dutch teammate if last year’s form is anything to go by, so it could swap around, with a van der Mark podium combined with Lowes’ 18th in Race 1 repeating itself. And should both of them find themselves further down the field, then the third-place race really is on.
Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is fifth in the standings and has three podiums to his name at Magny-Cours, as well as his last pole position to-date coming at the circuit in 2015. Behind Haslam by just six points is Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing), with the 22-year-old Turkish rider aiming for a podium at a seventh different circuit of the season – will he better his eighth place from Magny-Cours last year? 19 points further back, Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) will look to utilise his three wins at Magny-Cours in order to close in on the battle for third.
A tricky Portimao for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has left Tom Sykes right on the edge of the battle for third in the championship, as he is 66 points adrift of Alex Lowes. Sykes was a double winner back in 2013 at Magny-Cours, although BMW as a manufacturer have never achieved a victory. Sykes’ teammate Markus Reiterberger is still fighting for a ride in WorldSBK and heads to Magny-Cours in search of his first top ten since Imola. A best result of 12th at Magny-Cours will see the German rider keen to improve.
At last, it is a welcome return to action for Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team), who has been out of racing since his Tissot Superpole crash at Imola, back in May. The British rider has been undergoing an extensive rehabilitation programme which will see him back in action this weekend. He was a race leader at Magny-Cours for MV Agusta in 2017, although he was ninth for Honda last season in Race 2. Camier, if he passes a medical test, re-joins Japanese teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari, who has never scored points at Magny-Cours in WorldSBK.
The battle for the Independents may be being won by Toprak Razgatlioglu but there’s plenty of battles behind, as the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK riders of Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese battle for top honours in their team. Melandri has only won once at Magny-Cours, back in 2014, although he has five other podiums to his name – the last one in 2017. Cortese on the other hand has only been there once and will hope to make it two consecutive front rows following his Portimao success.
Never discount other Independent riders either, such as Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven), Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing Verdnatura) – all of which have had an element of success at Magny-Cours in the World Superbike category. Will more lie ahead for them in 2019?
Final European Round For Rea And Haslam
KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam are now making preparations to compete in the 11th round of the season, at the Magny Cours Circuit in France, this coming weekend. The 4.411km long racetrack will host the final European-based round of the 2019 season before the championship finishes off in Argentina and Qatar in October.
At the previous round in Portimao, which re-started the entire championship campaign after its long summer break, Rea scored two race wins to extend his championship lead. Four-times world champion Rea has his first arithmetical chance to make it five championships in a row at Magny Cours, which was the decisive scene of his 2018 championship win.
Talk of the championship win is premature for Rea and all inside the KRT tent, however, as they will continue to aim to win each race and not be distracted by any other factors. In all Rea has scored five wins at Magny Cours over his career, having scored total of nine podiums at a circuit of many contrasts in layout.
Although Haslam has not raced at Magny Cours since 2015 he has happy memories of the French track too, having scored three podiums there. Leon’s ideal result this weekend would be his first win in Kawasaki colours, after securing six podium finishes in his WorldSBK comeback season.
In the championship standings Jonathan has 490 points and a lead of 91 over Alvaro Bautista. Leon has scored 229 points and is in overall fifth place, with a very realistic ambition of finishing third by season’s end.
The now-familiar 2019 season schedule will feature Superpole and then a full distance Race One on Saturday 27th September, with the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’ race on Sunday morning, followed by a full distance Race Two. Track action gets underway on Friday 26th with two Free Practice sessions for the WorldSBK riders.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is very exciting to go to Magny Cours because it feels like the previous round in Portugal was a long time ago. I am ready to get back on the bike. Last weekend was the wedding of my crew chief Pere Riba, so we were all together as a team and we had a really good time together. Now we turn our attentions to Magny Cours. It is a circuit that requires really good stability on the brakes and also a bike set-up that changes direction well. I feel that we are prepared as it is will play to the strengths of the Ninja ZX-10RR in some areas and in some areas we need to find a set-up compromise. We need to keep one eye on the weather and one eye on performance. At Magny Cours you never really know what weather cards you are going to get dealt. In any case I am ready to get stuck in.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “It has been a few years since I was in Magny Cours but I have some good memories of being there and I’ve had some podiums there. Always, the temperature and weather is key and I remember getting my last podium there in the rain. I think I was on pole at Magny Cours in 2015 as well, so I am looking forward to it. It is a track with a few big straights. There are a few areas I may struggle with in the dry but going into it knowing those areas hopefully we can rectify that rather than going into it blind. I am looking forward to this race weekend and it is the last European round of this year. I am still aiming for third in the championship so I hope we can come away with some solid podiums.”
Top independent rider with three rounds to go, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) aims to take his 2019 podium tally into double figures in France, having scored eight top three race finishes so far.
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) has posted some impressive top ten rides for his rejuvenated and ambitious privateer squad, and aims for more this weekend. Jordi is now 12th in the overall championship points standings.
In 15th place in the world after ten rounds, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is another motivated Kawasaki privateer, particularly as the next round after Magny Cours will take place in his native Argentina.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team arrives at the Magny-Cours circuit in France for the eleventh round – the last event this year on European soil – of the Superbike World Championship
Following the Portuguese Round at Portimão, World SBK has now relocated almost 2,000 kilometres northwards in France for the third-to-last round of the championship. The French Round will also be the final one on European soil before the two overseas events in Argentina and Qatar in the month of October which will wrap up the season.
For Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati), the Magny-Cours circuit will be a totally new experience, unlike this year’s other new tracks like Imola and Portimão where testing had been organized before the races. Mathematically the fight for the title is still open and the French Round will give the 34-year-old Spaniard further opportunities to add more wins to his tally of 15 already this year.
Team-mate Chaz Davies on the other hand gets another chance to repeat his Laguna Seca win at a circuit he knows well and where he has raced every year since 2012: the 32-year-old Welshman has in fact started 14 races at Magny-Cours, scoring three wins there in 2016 and 2017 with the twin-cylinder Panigale as well as two second places.
World Superbike returns to action therefore at a circuit where, out of 34 races held so far, Ducati riders have won on sixteen occasions, the last one of which was in 2017 with Davies. On five occasions (1991 with Raymond Roche, 2003 with Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus, 2004 with James Toseland and Noriyuki Haga, 2011 with Carlos Checa and in 2016 with Chaz Davies) Ducati has scored a double win.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be out on track on Friday at 10.30 CET for the first free practice session, while the weekend schedule will see Race 1 at 14.00 on Saturday, the Superpole Race at 11.00 on Sunday, followed by Race 2 at 14.00 CET.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 2nd (399 points)
“My shoulder is much better than at Portimão, so we will immediately see what it’s like when I go on the track. I think I will have no problem to ride, but it will be very important for me to do a lot of laps on the track, learn the layout and be competitive in the race. We have to try and keep cutting the gap to Jonathan, but we are ready for the weekend and I hope to enjoy this new track.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 7th (204 points)
“I feel good for Magny-Cours because the podium at Portimao has actually given me optimism for the rest of the season and I feel that it proves we have a pretty good package with the bike now. The French track has been quite kind to me in the past so we’ll try and get some good results there. I’m not really looking for any particular place in the championship now: of course it’s nice to be in the hunt for the top 3 but my goal is just to be competitive on the remaining circuits until the end of the year.”
Final Europe round of the 2019 WorldSBK season: BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team ready for the races at Magny-Cours.
Magny-Cours is set to host the final European round of the 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Further updates to Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger’s BMW S 1000 RR Superbikes.
Shaun Muir: “We go there with some optimism”.
Munich. The next stop for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) is Magny-Cours (FRA). Tom Sykes (GBR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER) will contest the final European races of the 2019 WorldSBK season there with their BMW S 1000 RRs this weekend (27th to 29th September).
Magny-Cours will host the eleventh race event of the year. In the further final spurt of the season, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will head to San Juan in Argentina for the twelfth round of the season, before the season finale is held in Qatar at the end of October.
Quotes ahead of the races at Magny-Cours.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We’re looking forward to the final European races of the season. Our stats in Magny-Cours aren’t particularly good, but we are optimistic that we can improve them with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We also have more new parts that should add to the performance. These updates affect the engine performance and the frame. We hope that the weather will let us show this potential.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “We’re looking forward to going to Magny-Cours. We feel confident that we can make another little step for Tom and Markus. The conditions expected for the weekend are quite changeable, 50 to 60 percent chance of rain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so we need to be prepared for that. Tom is feeling pretty confident. In the past he has been very strong at the Magny-Cours circuit, and as we all know, Markus won the European Superstock championship there last year, so he has good memories of the circuit. So we go with some optimism and hopefully we will have the chance of a podium.”
Tom Sykes: “I’m looking forward to heading to France and to racing at Magny-Cours. I feel that the chassis of the BMW S 1000 RR could work really well in a couple of the sectors there. I’ve always enjoyed riding on the track layout there so hopefully we can utilise that to our advantage. Of course, there is a very long straight there which we can’t deny we probably will face some difficulties on. But I’m looking forward to working with the team again and going in the direction which we have done all year, which is slowly working towards where we need to be. Unfortunately, the weather forecast does not look particularly welcoming, but on a positive, we’ve also had very strong results with the new RR in wet conditions. So we’ll go there and try to make as strong a weekend as possible.”
Markus Reiterberger: “Magny-Cours is a cool track. I won the title in the FIM European Superstock 1000 Championship there last year which is why I have great memories of this track. It wasn’t an easy track for us, but we did really well there, and I think that the new RR will be even better on the track. I hope that I won’t be far behind my team-mate and, if possible, will be able to ride on a par with him. My primary goal is to improve my race pace, and I hope that we will take another step forward in terms of tuning, like we did at Portimão. I’m looking forward to the weekend and I would like to have a good final weekend in Europe before heading overseas.”
MAGNY-COURS, READY FOR THE WORLDSBK LAST EUROPEAN ROUND!
Historic circuit, absorbed in the Burgundy countryside, halfway between Lyon and Paris; here is the famous French track where the WorldSBK champions will be competing this weekend!
Like every year, the weather will be the master and will be the balance's needle for performance on the track: the probability of rain is really high and the temperatures are quite cold.
Rain or shine, in any case and in any condition, French fans have always shown great presence in this Round. From the Adelaide campsite, the famous first gear turn, the spectators warm up the engines all night waiting for the first practice sessions!
Eugene Laverty and Team Go Eleven return to the track after a tough weekend in Portimao. In these last three races, returning to the top positions will be the joint objective.
On the French track "old style", more tortuous and with lots of acceleration, the values on the track will be slightly different and from the first practice the technicians and the Irish rider will try to find the right balance and the correct set-up for the race.
On the occasion of the "French Round" the Go Eleven Team also races with the promising young Stefano Raineri, winner of the Go Eleven Challenge, debutant at the start of WorldSSP 300. For the less experienced, this category divides the riders into two groups, A and B; Stefano will be on track with Group B. The first thirty riders at the end of Superpole will go directly to Sunday's race, while all the others will line up in the Last Chance Race. The top six finishers of this last occasion will be able to take part in the Main Race.
So double commitment for fans, stay glued to the screens, there will be fun!
Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari reunited for the Pirelli French SBK round
This weekend will see Leon Camier make his return to the racetrack alongside Ryuichi Kiyonari as they compete for the Moriwaki Althea Honda Team in the Pirelli French WorldSBK round at Magny Cours.
Leon injured his left shoulder ligaments during the Superpole qualifying session at Imola (Italy)_ where he could not avoid another rider who crashed just ahead of him, and underwent surgery in July when it became clear that despite his progress, he was not re-gaining the necessary strength and range of movement to ride.
Having successfully recovered from the operation, the Brit now returns for the last European round before WorldSBK heads to South America and the Middle East for the final events of the 2019 season.
Leon Camier 2
“I’m happy and eager to get back to the team and to racing this weekend. Being forced to stay away has been tough but the situation was what it was, so I just tried to cope as well as possible, focusing on my physiotherapy and training as soon as I was able to start that. Since the operation, my shoulder has got better and better day by day and now I can’t wait to ride my bike on Friday. I probably won’t be at 100% right from free practice 1 but I don’t expect any problems in getting through the weekend.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari 23
“I’ve been at Magny Cours just once, in 2009, but unfortunately I crashed in race1 and could not take part in race2. It was a real pity because I actually liked the track quite a lot, so I’m happy to be heading back to race there again now. I enjoyed turn 1, turn 2, the back straight and several tight and technical corners, and I have good memories of the circuit in terms of the riding. I look forward to a much better outcome this year and possibly better results compared to recent races. It will also be good having Leon back to the team.”
France the next destination for the Althea MIE Racing Team
Magny-Cours (France), Wednesday 25 September 2019
The Althea MIE Racing team and rider Alessandro Delbianco are already in France, ready for round eleven of the Superbike world championship which will get underway this Friday at the circuit of Never Magny-Cours. This is the last event to take place on European soil, before the grand finale plays out in Argentina and Qatar.
The ‘Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours’ was constructed in 1960 and is located close to the towns of Magny-Cours and Nevers, and roughly 250 km from Paris. In the past, the structure has hosted both Formula 1 and MotoGP races and has been a permanent fixture on the Superbike calendar since 2003. 4441 m in length, the track features 17 turns and runs in a clockwise direction.
Last year, Delbianco crossed the line sixth in the Superstock 1000 race. This season, and with the experience of almost an entire SBK championship behind him, the Italian hopes to obtain positive results at the French track.
“I’m pleased to return to Magny Cours, I like the French track. I have good memories of last year and hope to be able to enjoy a good weekend again this time around. I will work hard with my team right from Friday in order to be as prepared as possible for the three races.”
#FRAWorldSBK: Who is the man to beat at Magny Cours?
Read the stats and find out all that you need to know ahead of the 2019 Pirelli French Round
1. Magny-Cours Race 1 will see 2019 becoming the first WorldSBK season in history with 29 WorldSBK races in a season. So far, the record length was 28 (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013).
2. The most successful riders at the French race track are Noriyuki Haga and Jonathan Rea, with five wins each. Rea reached Haga with a double win last year.
3. In the current field, we have four WorldSBK riders who have won at least once at Magny-Cours: Jonathan Rea (5), Tom Sykes (3), Chaz Davies (3) and Marco Melandri (1).
4. Despite being the most successful manufacturer at Magny-Cours with 16 wins, Ducati has recorded just a Superpole, in 2003 with James Toseland (at his maiden career Superpole).
5. Kawasaki is the only manufacturer who has recorded seven pole positions here (1991, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018). That is more than the double of its nearest competitors, Yamaha and Honda at 3.
6. Ducati has 38 podium finishes at this track, a record for Magny-Cours. Yamaha and Kawasaki follow at 17 each.
7. Great Britain is the most successful country at Magny Cours circuit with 15 wins. That is three times more than their best competitor, Japan, at five wins, which all belong to Noriyuki Haga.
8. Tom Sykes is the only rider who raced 20 times here in WorldSBK, and he made the most out of his starts. Sykes climbed on the podium in exactly half of those races, as he was on the podium ten times, a track record that he shares with Noriyuki Haga.
9. There are only two riders who have taken three straight wins at Magny Cours: Noriyuki Haga (a double in 2007 and Race 1 in 2008) and Tom Sykes (Race 2 in 2012 and a double in 2013).
10. Only one rider has been able to climb on the podium at the French track for four different manufacturers: Marco Melandri (Yamaha in 2011, BMW in 2012, Aprilia in 2014 and Ducati in 2017).
WorldSSP title scrap set to continue at Magny Cours
The French circuit gets ready to set the stage for yet another exhilarating chapter of the 2019 WorldSSP title fight as the end of the season draws closer
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours prepares to host what promises to be another exciting weekend of racing for the FIM Supersport World Championship. The 2019 season has seen WorldSSP offering incredible shows every weekend, with each lap of its races keeping the audience stuck to the screens as they wait to be treated to another thrilling and nail-biting last lap battle.
Heading to France as championship leader, Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) knows that he has no room for mistakes in this crucial time of the year. The Swiss rider has been leading the standings from the first round of the year at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit till now. He missed the podium just once in the UK, and with four wins, eight podiums and three Superpoles he has used consistency as his key weapon against the opposition.
But Krummenacher is not the only rider who has taken steady steps towards the title throughout all the season. His teammate Federico Caricasulo is only 10 points behind him with three wins, nine podiums - out on nine races - and three pole positions. It was Caricasulo to win at the ACERBIS Portuguese Round, remembering to the Swiss rider that it is still not the time to lower his guard. The championship is still open, and the Pirelli French Round will be another chapter of the 2019 teammates’ battle.
At the 11 Round of the season in France, eyes won’t just be on Krummenacher and Caricasulo, as local hero Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) is also part of the title contention. The Frenchman is currently third in the championship standings, 48 points behind the Swiss, which means that he is potentially part of the 2019 title charge.
Cluzel will look forward to putting on a strong performance at his home round, as well as his teammate Corentin Perolari. The GMT94 YAMAHA team will line up a third bike in France, with rising French star Maximilien Bau making his second WorldSSP appearance after Magny Cours last year.
Still chasing his first win onboard the Kawasaki ZX-6R, Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) arrives at Magny Cours after having taken his third back-to-back podium for 2019 in Portugal. The 2017 WorldSSP World Champion seems to have finally found his feet with the green machine of the Italian team, and at his home round the Frenchman will look forward to proving it again. On the other side of the Puccetti’s garage, Japanese rider Hikari Okubo will continue to aim for his first WorldSSP podium in his career.
After a promising start to their 2019 campaign, Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) and Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) - respectively sixth and seventh in the overall standings behind the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing duo – had experienced some difficulties in the last events but they will both look forward to making a strong comeback at the front during the remainder of the season.
As the Pirelli French Round will be the last meeting to be held on European soil, we will finally know the name of the 2019 FIM Europe Supersport Cup Winner. Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) currently leads the way ten points ahead of both his rivals Michael Canducci (DK Motorsport) and Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team). With still 25 points left, the Brit will have to administrate his advantage to secure the 2019 title.
Alongside the regular 26 WorldSSP entries and Bau (GMT94 Yamaha), French stars Xavier Navand (Altogoo Racing Team) and Guillaume Pot (Team MHP Racing-Patrick Pons) are set to make a wildcard appearance at Magny Cours together with Hungarian rider Richard Bodis (PROMOTO Racing – BR94).
Krummenacher and Caricasulo Ready to Continue Title Fight in Cluzel's Backyard
The battle for supremacy in the 2019 FIM Supersport World Championship is set to continue in Magny-Cours this weekend, after Bardahl Evan Bros Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Randy Krummenacher, saw his lead in the championship standings reduced to just ten points by his teammate, Federico Caricasulo, who won last time out in Portimão.
Krummenacher and Caricasulo have dominated WorldSSP this season, with the Bardahl Yamaha pairing winning all but two of the nine races n 2019. Krummenacher has accounted for four of those wins, with Caricasulo victorious on three occasions, but the Italian has also finished on the podium in every single race this season.
Caricasulo's third victory of the season came last time out in Portimão where, after disputing the race lead with his teammate, the Italian was credited with the win following a red flag that brought the race to a premature end with four laps remaining. Krummenacher was pragmatic about the defeat but will be out for revenge this weekend in France although, unlike his teammate, the Swiss rider has never finished on the podium at Magny-Cours before.
If anyone is going to take the fight to Krummenacher and Caricasulo this weekend it will be GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Jules Cluzel, who has two wins to his name this season and is the only rider to deny the top step of the podium to the battling Bardahl Yamaha duo in 2019.
Cluzel has an enviable record at home, having won at Magny-Cours four times previously, including last year. The Frenchman will also enjoy a stronger home crowd advantage this weekend, thanks to an initiative by the GMT94 Yamaha team that will see more than 3000 additional French fans join the team for their home round.
Bardahl Evan Bros. Yamaha Supported WorldSSP
"I've been training hard since Portimão and I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike in Magny-Cours. I feel really strong going into this race, but the approach will remain the same as always; to work towards the race on Sunday and then do my best to win. I'm not thinking about the championship positions, I'm just thinking about doing the best job I can in the races we have left, and the championship will sort itself out."
GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP
"I'm happy to be heading back home to Magny-Cours, as it's a track that holds a lot of good memories for me, as I've won there four times in the past. The only downside is that I seemed to have won only every two years in the past, so that's a statistic I'll be pushing hard to change this weekend! The weather conditions look like they will be on the cool side, which will make for a difficult weekend, but may well prove to be something we can take advantage of. It's my home race, which is always busy for both me and the team but promises to be even busier this year with the additional guests we have joining us. The extra support is welcome, and it will be really cool to see everyone there, but it's also important that I remain focused for the race."
Magny Cours Awaits For Mahias And Okubo
Lucas Mahias and Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) head to Lucas’ home round in France this weekend for the tenth round of the WorldSSP championship, to be held at Magny Cours between Friday 27th and Sunday 29th September.
A straight run of podium finishes in WorldSSP events at Misano, Donington and most recently Portimao, mean that 2017 FIM Supersport World Champion Mahias is consolidated in an overall fourth place in the rankings.
In the build-up to his home round in France Mahias is more determined to take his first Kawasaki race win than ever. He has three more opportunities in 2019 – including the French round.
So far Lucas has also taken a pole position and recorded the fastest lap of the Assen round in April. He has now made 44 career race starts in WorldSSP, which matches his 2019 season race number.
Okubo, who was in the position of being best ranked Kawasaki rider this season for most of the early rounds, is still having the best season he has had in WorldSSP.
Having equalled his previous best single race finish of fourth, and having scored in every single round so far, Okubo is fifth in the championship, just 16 points behind Mahias. Lucas has 98 points and Hikari 82.
The tenth round of the championship this season, Magny Cours will host its 17th WorldSSP round of all time on Sunday. The 4.411km long circuit, located at the epicentre of the French mainland, will offer up a challenge in its layout and possibly its weather conditions.
After Magny Cours the championship will head to its penultimate round at El Villicum in Argentina, between the 11th and 13th of October.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “I am ready for Magny Cours and for sure it is a special race because it is my home race. I am not Italian and do not have two rounds – I just have one round in France, so that makes it important! I have not always had the best results at Magny Cours but I don’t know why. Sometimes I do not have good luck but maybe it will be different this year, my first in Magny Cours with the Kawasaki. I am ready to work hard over the weekend to take the best feeling from the bike and I hope to win the race. It is fully a different feeling from the last few rounds where I was ready to fight for the podium. This time I am ready just to win. It is really important for me and for Kawasaki. I am ready for Magny Cours and the weather is the big question, because when you look at different weather forecasts it is different. Sometimes it says rain and sometimes no rain but for sure cold. I am an old Endurance rider and I like these conditions.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “In recent races I haven’t been able to score the results I wanted and so I can’t wait to get on track at Magny Cours and get back to my usual level. Though I like the track, I’ve never achieved particularly strong results here and so this time I want to turn things around and aim for the podium. I think it’s possible, a good target. I had a good race in last week’s EWC Bol d’Or round, also in France, so this can help me to have a strong WorldSSP ride at Magny Cours.”
Ayrton Badovini enjoyed fifth place at the previous round in Portugal and alongside his Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki team-mate Kyle Smith he has even loftier ambitions for the French round. Ayrton moved up to 13th overall at Portimao and Kyle is currently 17th. Kyle heads the class-within-a-class FIM Europe Supersport Cup (ESS).
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) is currently 20th, tied on points with Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) who is 21st. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and ESS rider Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Racing Team Kawasaki) will join their colleagues in France.
WorldSSP300: Will the WorldSSP300 championship be sorted out in France?
The complex and intricate layout of Magny-Cours assures that the battle really will be on in WorldSSP300 at the Pirelli French Round
The championship is on the line for World Supersport 300, as three riders go into the Pirelli French Round with the chance of becoming champion. However, only one can win it this weekend: Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) has a 38-point advantage over Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT), and needs just a top four finish to secure the crown. However, this is WorldSSP300, where a top four finish is certainly easier said than done…
Manuel Gonzalez has shown that he has plenty of consistency in just his second full season in WorldSSP300. Three wins and two more podiums have seen him build up a 38-point lead over Deroue. A top four finish is all that is required for the Spaniard to take the title if his nearest rival wins, whilst there’s plenty of permutations if Deroue is second or lower. Gonzalez took a third on his first visit to the circuit in 2018; can he mount the podium again, and make sure Spain retains WorldSSP300 success?
He may have only taken his first win of the season at Portimao, but Scott Deroue won’t go down without a fight in WorldSSP300. The Dutchman has been twice-third in the standings at the end of the season and has been one of the more consistent riders in the class. However, bad luck in 2019 has seen Deroue on the back foot. Pole position at Magny-Cours last year could be his saving grace, although he retired. Deroue must take more than 14 points or more from Gonzalez to take the fight to the floodlights of Losail.
Defending champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) must win at Magny-Cours and hope that Gonzalez is 14th or lower. She cannot afford to have anything less than a win at Magny-Cours if she is to take the championship down the final round of the season. Just eight points from the opening the opening two races and not taking advantage of Gonzalez and Deroue’s Donington Park issues have been pivotal. However, she clinched the championship at Magny-Cours last year, so all is not lost yet.
There’s no mathematic chance of Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) winning the championship in 2019, so the Frenchman heads home to race for nothing but pride and glory. His two podiums of 2019 have come in the last three races, showing great improvement throughout the season. He leads the French charge as the field arrives at Magny-Cours, whilst also remaining in the battle for third place with Carrasco. Just 14 points behind Deroue, Verdoïa may even find himself improving to second, should events transpire against his rivals.
13 points behind Verdoïa is 2017 WorldSSP300 champion Marc Garcia, who is leading the battle for fifth position overall. The Jerez Race 1 winner jumped to fifth in the championship at Portimao and now sets his sights on bridging the gap to those ahead of him. On his last appearance at Magny-Cours, Garcia took victory from 11th on the grid, highlighting that anything is possible. One point behind Garcia is Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) whilst his teammate, Jan-Ole Jahnig, is just one point further back.
The battle for the remaining positions inside the top ten will likely be sorted out between four riders. Hugo De Cancellis (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) hopes to secure his eighth place with a strong performance at home, having not scored points since Jerez in June. Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) is one of just two riders in the top ten to not register a podium in 2019 – the other is Steeman. Hendra Pratama sits in ninth overall and is three points behind De Cancellis. Completing the top ten is Ukraine’s Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki), who has been strong in the last two races. He is three points further back of Hendra Pratama. Two points behind Kalinin is Donington Park winner, Kevin Sabatucci (Team Trasimeno Yamaha).
STEFANO RAINERI HAVE HIS DEBUT IN WORLDSSP 300
Winner of the Challenge Go Eleven, which takes place in the MotoEstate Trophy, Stefano Raineri has earned the chance to race in the World Supersport 300 at Magny-Cours!
So much determination and sacrifices have brought a great opportunity to this guy born in 1998. After several years in the Polini Cup and some races in the Italian Championship category 300, with a seventh place as best result, Stefano managed to win the Challenge Go Eleven 2019: the prize for his constancy and his speed will be the world wild card on the Magny-Cours circuit!
A unique opportunity that will allow the guy from Costa Massage to compete with the strongest and fastest riders of the world in the entry level category of the World Superbike Championship.
No expectation and no pressure on him; will have to try to have fun, hold back the excitement of the "first time" and fighting with the other 70 riders entered for the French Round!
A thank you for this opportunity and for the realization of the Go Eleven Challenge goes to the MotoEstate Trophy promoters, who, supporting this formula, allow every year to a young promise to appear at the WorldSBK Championship containing costs for families and management problems. Same bike, same opportunities and lots of gasss; so Stefano has earned his chance to race in the World Supersport 300 at Magny-Cours!
Good luck, Stefano!
Stefano Raineri (Rider):
"I am very happy about this opportunity offered to me, I hope to do well and to show my talent! I expect and hope to be competitive and to be comfortable with Team Go Eleven. For me it will be all new, it is the first time in the WorldSSP 300 and at Magny-Cours. The Challenge Go Eleven championship was very constructive and helped me grow both as a rider and as a person, now I expect the debut in the World Championship, I will give 100% to get a good result and I will enjoy this opportunity until the last lap! "
#FRAWorldSBK: Will Ducati extend their number of wins at Magny Cours?
Find out which manufacturers have been prospering so far at the famous French track
Ducati are the undisputed leaders at Magny Cours with 16 wins, as the next competitor is Kawasaki at half that number (8). The last three wins came in 2016 (double) and 2017 (Race 2) with Chaz Davies. Last year, Ducati recorded two podium placements with Xavi Fores third in Race 1 and Chaz Davies second in Race 2. The Italian manufacturer also leads the podiums ranking at the French Track with 38: more than the double of their next competitors, Kawasaki and Yamaha at 17 each. Despite being the most successful manufacturer for wins and podiums at Magny-Cours, they recorded only one Superpole here, in 2003 with James Toseland.
It is Kawasaki to hold the record of Magny-Cours Superpoles, seven, to Yamaha's and Honda's three each. They have won eight times at the French track, and all wins coming from 2012 onwards. They are the team to beat as last year, Jonathan Rea the double. In 2018, Kawasaki was able to equal Yamaha for Magny-Cours podiums, 17, at the second spot behind Ducati (38), scoring three podiums out of possible four with their works riders Rea and Sykes. In the last seven Tissot Superpoles here, the best Kawasaki on the grid was either on pole (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018) or second on the grid (2015).
Yamaha won five times in Magny -Cours, the last one coming in 2010 from pole in Race 1 (Cal Crutchlow). Last year, they scored one podium with Michael van der Mark, third in Race 2, enough to keep the second spot for Magny-Cours podiums, the same number as Kawasaki (17 each).
Honda have won twice at French circuit: the first time in 2005, when Chris Vermeulen won from pole in Race 1 and the second time the following year, when James Toseland won Race 1. Since that last win, the Japanese manufacturer have been on the podium seven times at Magny-Cours, finishing in third no less than in five of them. The last placement on the Magny-Cours rostrum was recorded in 2016: a second place by van der Mark in Race 1. Last year, their best result was a ninth in Race 2 by Leon Camier. They had their share of bad luck, as Jonathan Rea fell twice while leading: in 2012 race 1 and 2014 in race 2.
BMW scored two podium finishes at Magny-Cours: Leon Haslam was third in the first 2011 Race, while Marco Melandri was the runner up the following year, always in Race 1 behind Sylvain Guintoli. Last year, they recorded two 10th places with Loris Baz.