World Superbike racing has not been held at Jerez since 1990, favouring the MotoGP men for experience, much like Istanbul. However, many teams used the track last winter for testing, so none of the title contenders arrived blind.
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Davide Giugliano takes provisional pole ahead of Aprilia's party spoiler Marco Melandri and three other Aprilias. Eugene Laverty rounds out the provisional front row, with Toni Elias, the morning's pace man holding the top spot until an early crash, fourth fastest ahead of Sylvain Guintoli.
Sam Lowes and his teammate Vladimir Leonov topped the timed session with Kenan Sofuoglu rounding out the provisional front row.
Toni Elias leads title hopefuls Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli ahead of the last race weekend of the season. Davide Giugliano demonstrates the Aprilia dominance of the session in fifth place behind Marco Melandri. Tom Sykes in sixth is just ahead of Lorenzo Lanzi on his old porky Ducati 1098R, embarassing the factory Panigales.
The Yamahas of Sam Lowes and Vladimir Leonov, after dominating most of the session, were split by Michael Van Der Mark at the end of the opening session.
Three World Championship races at Magny-Cours and three red flags within spitting distance of the chequered flags, some downed riders were classified while others were not, in spite of their causing the flags with downed bikes on the racing line.
“At the time the red flag is displayed, riders who are not actively competing in the race will not be classified.”
2013 FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championship and Superstock Cup Regulations, rule 1.27.1 exception 3.
Clouds loomed over a dry race at Magny-Cours as the last Superbike race of the weekend was started.
Tom Sykes once again led from the start, with Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli behind him. Davide Giugliano, Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri continued their race one battle for fourth place behind them.
As Sykes set fastest lap after fastest lap, the Aprilias in second and third place had to watch as Sykes just increased the gap, over and over. Michelle Pirro ended his weekend low-siding Carlos Checa’s Ducati after a respectable weekend’s effort.
Sam Lowes started the 22 lap race, again declared a dry race, needing just two points to win the title. Kenan Sofuoglu, the only man with a chance of delying him the title, started from pole position.
Christian Iddon put his MV Agusta into first place by the first corner, followed by Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu with their title battle. The front three broke free of the rest of the field and would never be caught. Fabien Foret, however, started from 18th place and had his work cut out for him in front of his home crowd, desperate to retain his third place in the title chase.
World Superbike race one at Magny-Cours started dry, and was planned for 23 laps.
Weather once again dictated a portion of the weekend’s events, ensuring that nobody would have an easy time of it. Two riders in World Supersport ended their weekend yesterday and only one of them was replaced, while World Superbike had replacements for riders injured weeks ago. Fabrizio Lai was in for Max Neukirchner, Davide Salom kept Loris Baz’s bike warm and eight time endurance world champion Vincent Philippe sat in for Leon Camier. Lorenzo Lanzi even turned up on an old Ducati 1098R, still carrying its extra homologation weight, much like its rider.
Kenan Sofuoglu crashed out, walking away from his destroyed Kawasaki, ending the session a few minutes short. Drying conditions kept the times to within a second or two of yesterday's times and just off previous records.
Unsurprisingly, Magny-Cours was raining and we were given a wet Superpole, with two twenty minute sessions, losing six of the fifteen after the first session. As the rain looked like it would be getting heavier as time went on, an early time could strategically play out as the conditions worsened and the track slowed down.
Davide Giugliano showed that he has the pace in wet conditions, along with Ayrton Badovini, ahead of the four title contenders. Giugliano set the fastest time on his second lap out and then beat his own time four times. The session was red-flagged with a couple of minutes left and abandoned after Vincent Philippe crashed out, uninjured.
Kenan Sofuoglu was once again the quickest man on track while Sam Lowes sat the wet session out.
While Marco Melandri claimed the fastest lap of the session, not one rider was able to approach their times from yesterday, with the wet track turning the session into a wet practice instead of a qualifying session. Sylvain Guintoli retains provisional pole, ahead of Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies.
Times from this session: