Jonathan Rea doubles up at Magny-Cours
The second race at Magny-Cours was won by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), the World Champion doing the double for the fifth time this year after a three-rider battle raged from the start. His podium tally of 22 puts him equal with Troy Bayliss who achieved the feat in 2002, and is the second highest number of podiums in a season in the all-time list.
At the flag at the end of 21-adrenalin-filled laps the remaining podium places were taken by Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) meaning the fight for the runner-up spot in the series will continue to the season finale under floodlights in Qatar in a fortnight.
“I am super-happy, especially to win in the wet and the dry. It was a double bonus. It was tough because I came here off the back of being really busy after winning the title in Jerez so I did not get too much down time, and my typical training week was out of the window, “ said Rea.
“When I got back here it was just so important to me to get back on the podium. Pirelli brought my favourite SC2 front tyre and immediately from the first session I felt really comfortable again. So I am really happy to have come out and not just have two podium finishes but a double win at a circuit I have never won at before.”
Behind the top three, Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) had their own private duel with the Dutchman taking fourth with a few laps to go from his English rival.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) had another solid day pleasing the many fans trackside with sixth in dry conditions.
Seventh was Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing) ahead of the duelling Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Luca Scassa (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team), who were eighth and ninth respectively, with Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) rounding out the top 10.
The remaining points-scoring positions were claimed by Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing), Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing), Markus Reiterberger (VanZon Rehema BMW), David Salom (Team Pedercini) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
WorldSBK Magny-Cours – Race 2
1 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team
2 – Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team +2.848
3 – Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +6.551
Standings (12 of 13 rounds completed)
1 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 528*
2 – Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team 383 (-145)
3 – Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 367 (-161)
Race one ..Rea masters wet conditions in Race 1 at Magny-Cours
The opening WorldSBK race of the day at a very wet Magny-Cours has been won by newly crowned Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea after a reduced race distance of 19 laps. The Kawasaki Racing Team rider overhauled long team leader and teammate Tom Sykes, who made a mistake at Turn 8, eventually finishing 4.7s behind Rea at the flag. For Rea it was a sweet 13th season victory and the first for him at the Magny-Cours circuit.
The podium was completed by Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), who kept his consecutive run of podium finishes at his home circuit in tact with a spirited ride.
Fourth, after a multi rider battle from the start was Michael van der Mark on the second Pata Honda, the Dutchman getting the better of Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) , Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing) who completed the top 7, Camier giving the Italian manufacturer its best finish ever in its WorldSBK history.
Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) rode a solid race after a huge spill in Superpole yesterday to claim eighth ahead of Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Team) and Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing) who finished tenth.
The final point scorers were Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini SBK Team), Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Luca Scassa (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven).
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) started strongly but faded and with seven laps to go he made the decision to pit for intermediate tyres, he eventually finished 16th after starting from Pole.
WorldSBK Magny-Cours – Race 1
1 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team
2 – Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +4,711
3 – Sylvain Guintoli Pata Honda World Superbike +14.683
Jonathan Rea – Race 1 1st – Race 2 1st – “I am super-happy, especially to win in the wet and the dry. It was a double bonus. It was tough because I came here off the back of being really busy after winning the title in Jerez so I did not get too much down time, and my typical training week was out of the window. When I got back here it was just so important to me to get back on the podium. Pirelli brought my favourite SC2 front tyre and immediately from the first session I felt really comfortable again. So I am really happy to have come out and not just have two podium finishes but a double win at a circuit I have never won at before.”
Tom Sykes – Race 1 2nd – Race 2 3rd – “Two podiums today but things could have been even better. In race two we had the exact same bike set-up as we had in free practice and we had such a great feeling and great consistency then. The only thing I can think of is that today, with no rubber on the track, it looks like it did not accept the change. We used our package a bit too much and certainly used the tyres too much and for that we were not able to finish off the corners in some areas, and that proved costly. In race one we had a good race in the first half but it just did not stick in there in the drying conditions.”
Chaz Davies – Race 1 6th – Race 2 2nd – “In race 2 I chose not to take too many risks trying to catch Rea, so I decided to focus on scoring second position. In race 1 on the other hand we got the set-up wrong, not managing to change back to a wet set-up from a dry one in time. It was like riding on ice and I did all I could to bring it home in sixth. Anyway I’m pleased with the weekend, both for the fact that this is my first podium at Magny-Cours and also because we head to Qatar with an advantage of 16 points over Tom. He’s always been strong here in France and I actually thought I might lose more points here today; so it’s gone well and now we can focus on the final round.”
Sylvain Guintoli – Race 1 3rd Race 2 6th – “It was good to grab the opportunity with the wet conditions in race one and bring home the first podium of the season. Race two was dry but it was OK – P6 was not too bad, and I would definitely have taken that yesterday morning. We made a few changes from the last dry session in FP4 yesterday to improve the pace and we used the SC0 tyre. I thought the other tyre would drop in performance but the guys in front seemed to be on that one. To be on the podium at home was what I really wanted to do, so it’s been a good performance from the whole team. Now we’re looking forward to the final round in Qatar to finish the season on a high.”
PJ Jacobsen wins as Sofuoglu clinches fourth World Supersport title
The penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship was stopped after several laps and restarted over a reduced distance of 11 laps following a retirement for Kevin Manfredi (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) that brought out the red flags to allow the track to be cleaned. The encounter was eventually won by PJ Jacobsen (CORE Motorsport Thailand) after an edge-of-the-seat duel with the new 2015 FIM Supersport World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who settled for a safe second position to clinch his fourth WSS crown.
The podium was completed by local rider Lucas Mahias (MG Competition) who despite setting a good pace was unable to stay with the two leaders.
“We came here to get the title not to win the race,” said Sofuoglu. “In the first race it was easy to go away out in front. In the second race it was different and I had a different tyre, but I had one goal – to go very fast at the beginning of the race, take second place and get the title. When we had a two second gap to the rider behind I just thought I had to stay on my bike, not crash and get the title. Our plan worked well. I think everybody did a great job. I have to say a big thanks to the Puccetti Racing teamand of course Kawasaki helped us a lot to win this title. In the end we got the championship.”
In the race, a two-way fight for fourth was eventually won by Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) over Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), with Kevin Wahr (SMS Honda) in sixth nd Gino Rea, who salvaged a seventh place finish despite crashing and re-joining aboard his CIA Landlords Insurance Honda.
The top 10 was completed by Martin Cardenas (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda), Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven) and Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing).
Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini), Dominic Schmitter (Team Go Eleven), Aiden Wagner (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda), Nico Terol (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Xavi Pinsach (Team Lorini) rounded out the point scorers.
There was disappointment for Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25) who had been in contention for the podium in the opening encounter but he failed to take to the grid for the restart due to a technical problem.
World Supersport Magny-Cours – Race
1 – PJ Jacobsen CORE” Motorsport Thailand
2 – Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Team +3.910
3 – Lucas Mahias MG Competition Yamaha +8.950
Standings (11 of 12 rounds completed)
1 – Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing 213*
2 – PJ Jacobsen CORE” Motorsport Thailand Honda 185 (-28)
3 – Jules Cluzel MV Agusta Reparto Corse 155 (-58)
WSS: Turkish rider, Kenan Sofuoglu, overcomes every possible hurdle for fourth world supersport title
On the face of it, Kenan Sofuoglu is by far the most successful rider to have ever competed in the Supersport World Championship. Not only does he hold records in practically every area but he has now become a four-time world champion. However, in 2015 the 31-year-old has faced an immense struggle off the track as well as on it.
Hailing from the Turkish town of Akyazi (whose postcode is 54 and the number with which Sofuoglu has always raced), he began his professional career in 2003, missing out on the IDM Supersport title by just ten points. Also that year, he made his debut in World Supersport, competing in the races of Valencia, Oschersleben and Magny-Cours. Valencia was also the scene of his debut pole position, in 2007, but the first win came at Assen in 2006 as he beat his nearest opponent by four and a half seconds.
His first two titles came with Hannspree Ten Kate Honda, in 2007 and 2010 respectively. He achieved the crown again in 2012, this time with Lorenzini Kawasaki. During this phase Sofuoglu also starred in the Moto2 World Championship, in 2010 and 2011. In the second of the two years, he finished on the podium at Assen, beaten only by future MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez.
Sofuoglu’s story of 2015 is one of triumph mixed with tragedy. Following a difficult period with MAHI Racing Team India last year, his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing partnership was hoped to deliver the title. Phillip Island in February presented a difficult start, as he was forced to recover to sixth place after an incident with Gino Rea, but there was a pole position and return to the podium in Thailand as he finished second behind first-time winner Ratthapark Wilairot. Then came a pivotal run of four straight wins at Aragon, Assen, Imola and Donington, but reading off results alone tells barely half of the story; not least as title rival Jules Cluzel’s MV Agusta lost a potential 50 points due to engine failures in both the MotorLand and Buriram rounds.
However, it is events away from the race track that have most characterised this year for the Sofuoglu family. Ahead of Imola, Manuel Puccetti’s team announced that Hamza Sofuoglu, newly-born son of Kenan and wife Julia, was fighting for his life in a Turkish hospital. Against all odds, Kenan fought on to win the race in Italy before hurriedly returning home. Following his four consecutive victories, there was second in Portugal after a second massive scrap with Cluzel (the first having come at Assen), while 11th at Misano was the blot on the copybook as Sofuoglu was pushed into a mistake by Lorenzo Zanetti while defending third place on the final lap.
By the time the paddock regrouped at Sepang, the fraternity had received the tragic news that baby Hamza had succumbed to his illness. In the Malaysian race, channeling emotion into determination in one of sport’s most remarkable displays of courage, Sofuoglu finished fourth behind PJ Jacobsen, Cluzel and Zanetti.
Jerez came around in mid-September. Sofuoglu’s championship lead – as great as 45 points after Donington – was now down to just 13. Then came the next twist, as Cluzel was harshly ruled out of the championship chase following a heavy crash in Friday practice. “I am very sorry for Jules,” Sofuoglu was quick to mention. “He also deserved to win the title. Maybe we have been a little lucky, but I have also had some very difficult times this year. Life can give us some very hard moments and this is a very hard moment for him. I’m very sorry for him and his team.”
Sofuoglu’s title was sewn up with first place at Magny-Cours on Sunday 4th October, historically winning the World Supersport crown for the fourth time as only challenger Jacobsen ended proceedings in second position.
Look for a racer as resolutely determined as Kenan Sofuoglu and you will struggle, as confirmed by his fierce battles with Cluzel this year in The Netherlands and Portugal. However, Turkey’s national hero has demonstrated the absolute qualities of a gentleman and of a competitor who overcomes the cruelest of heartbreaks to source energy and encouragement from his family, friends and team. A true sportsman.
Savadori wins the STK1000 title after Guarnoni’s race victory
Jeremy Guarnoni (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) came out on top at the end of an intense 15-lap, FIM Superstock 1000 final race of the season at Magny-Cours. This is the fourth win in the series for the 22-year-old Frenchman, and the third in front of his home crowd. As a four-way fight for honours raged ahead, Roberto Tamburini (MotoxRacing BMW) and Lorenzo Savadori (Nuova M2 Racing) had their own personal battle for the title, with the Aprilia rider claiming the ultimate prize by finishing eighth at the line, but not without some drama.
Meanwhile Tamburini, who needed to win to have any chance of lifting the Champion’s trophy did all he could to recover as many places as possible, but his sixth-row start did not help the Italian in fulfilling an almost impossible mission.
The 2015 runner-up was fifth at the flag behind local man Mathieu Gines (MRS Yamaha), with Italian riders Kevin Calia (Nuova M2 Racing Aprilia) and Raffaele De Rosa (Althea Racing Ducati) claiming the remaining podium positions in second and third, respectively, while Riccardo Russo (Team G.M. Racing Yamaha) crashed out of the leading group with two laps to go.
Superstock 1000 Magny-Cours – Race
1 – Jeremy Guarnoni Team Trasimeno Yamaha
2 – Kevin Calia Nuova M2 Racing Aprilia +1.019
3 – Raffaele De Rosa Althea Racing Ducati +1.307
1 – Lorenzo Savadori Nuova M2 Racing Aprilia 164
2 – Roberto Tamburini Team MotoxRacing BMW 142 (-22)
3 – Raffaele De Rosa Althea Racing Ducati 121 (-43)
European Junior Cup Champion Orellana signs off with victory at Magny-Cours
Javier Orellana backed up last weekend’s European Junior Cup championship victory at Jerez in Spain with a thrilling victory in today’s final round at the French circuit of Magny-Cours. He was joined on the podium by two French riders Dorian Laville and Guillaume Raymond.
In a fantastic race with constant changes of leader and battles throughout the field, Orellana displayed the class that has taken him to five race victories in this season’s European Junior Cup which is contested on identically-prepared Honda CBR650F machines.
The 18-year-old Spaniard experienced several problems in preparation for today’s 10-lap race at the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit and could qualify no higher than fifth but he used his four years of EJC experience to battle his two French rivals both of whom had started on the front row, with Raymond in pole position.
Also starting on the front row was Emanuele Pusceddu who ran off track whilst leading the closing stages after tangling with fellow Italian Alfonso Coppola. Pusceddu eventually finished just off the podium in fourth with promising youngster Paolo Grassia fifth and securing second place overall in the standings.
New Zealand’s Avalon Biddle followed up her own victory in the inaugural Women’s European Championship at Jerez last time out by taking her sixth win of the year to emphasise her own domination of the women’s series.
Javier Orellana – “It was a perfect race after the disaster of Friday and Saturday. I crashed on lap three of free practice and then I had a problem with the disk brake and couldn’t do any laps. We had the rain on Saturday for qualifying when I had to push and then the race today was a big battle. We had a group along the big straight and I was fighting Pusceddu really hard. But it’s been a great season for me with five victories out of eight, two other podiums and one zero. I want to say thank you to Gerry Bryce , I’ve had four great years in this series and I have learned so much. I hope to be with him for some more years to come.”
Gerry Bryce – series director – “It was a fantastic race to end the season here at Magny-Cours and we were so lucky with the weather. I think it was probably the best race of the season – there were so many lead changes, so much action right through the field and, in the end, Javi just showed his class again. It wasn’t an easy win by any means but I think he’s been a fantastic champion all year. Paolo Grassia, who finished second overall, is only fifteen and is definitely one to watch next year when he could be a contender. And Guillaume Raymond, who was also on the podium, has been fast all weekend. Needless to say, Avalon Biddle won the Women’s championship race again and underlined her dominance. It’s been a great inaugural Women’s European Championship and I hope it inspires more female racers to come forward and sign up for the first race of 2016 at Aragon!
2015 Pata European Junior Cup – Magny-Cours, France – Results
1 J Orellana (ESP)
2 D Laville (FRA)
3 G Raymond (FRA)
4 E Pusceddu (ITA)
5 P Grassia (ITA)
6 M Perez (ESP)
7 S Hill (GBR)
8 H Cabuk (TUR)
9 M Ciprietti (ITA)
10 S Wilford (GBR)
EJC standings after final round – 1 Orellana 157, 2 Grassia 101, 3 Raymond 98, 4 Pusceddu 90, 5 Laville 79, 6 de Gruttola 60, 7 Soomer 59, 8 Wilford 58, 9 Coppola 57, 10 Cabuk 46
FIM Europe Women’s European Championship standings after final round – 1 Avalon Biddle (NZL) 166, 2 Anastassia Kovalenko (EST) 112, 3 Laura Rodrigues (SUI) 105, 4 Viktoria Kis (HUN) 86, 5 Charlie Oakland (GBR) 20