World Superbike heads to Magny Cours

Magny Cours
Magny Cours

Situated in the centre of France, some 250 kilometers south of Paris, the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is an iconic staple of French Motor Racing and Round 11 will mark the 25th anniversary of WorldSBK at Magny-Cours. It is set to be a thrilling Round as six titles have been decided here in the past and this year is no exception. The Fassi French Round could very well see titles decided again in WorldSSP, STK1000 and in the Manufacturers Championship, if the categories’ protagonists win.

Heading into the round it will be Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea who will look to continue his winning form in France with 50 points up for grabs if he repeats last year’s form and does the double. Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies will be one to watch, heading into Round 11 with a dominant victory under his belt from the Lausitzring and a podium finish at Magny-Cours last year, if anyone is going to put the pressure on Rea, it may as well be Davies.

Sylvain Guintoli will be flying the home flag in Magny-Cours ahead of his second round back to racing after injury. In Round 10 the Frenchman proved he’s stronger than ever after finishing fifth in Race 2 in Germany. Both Guintoli and teammate Alex Lowes have put their Yamahas to the test at Magny-Cours in a private test at the French circuit over the summer. The extra track time could give them an advantage heading into the weekend.

Magny-Cours will be a new frontier for Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden, but the Kentucky Kid has his fourth podium from Germany and his wealth of Grand Prix experience to count on heading into the round.

Last time in France, Leon Camier brought his MV Agusta home in fifth, while the last round at the Lausitzring saw him finish in fourth, just narrowly missing out on a podium finish. The Brit was disappointed with his efforts despite achieving his season best result, setting his sights firmly on the podium for Magny-Cours. While fresh from his first podium in WorldSBK, Alex De Angelis heads to France knowing his Aprilia has the speed to fight for more. 

Anthony West will not race this round for Pedercini Kawasaki as he has other commitments in the Asian Road Racing Series thus the sole Australian entrant in the World SBK ranks will be Josh Brookes. The Sydneysider looking to improve on his 69-point tally scored thus far for Milwaukee BMW in season 2016.

Magny Cours - Pirelli Tyre and Track Data
Magny Cours – Pirelli Tyre and Track Data
Championship Standings after Round 10
  1. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki GBR 393
  2. Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 346
  3. Chaz Davies Ducati GBR 295
  4. Michael van der Mark Honda NLD 203
  5. Nicky Hayden Honda USA 195
  6. Davide Giugliano Ducati ITA 194
  7. Jordi Torres BMW ESP 168
  8. Leon Camier MV Agusta GBR 134
  9. Xavi Fores Ducati ESP 119
  10. Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia ITA 110
  11. Alex Lowes Yamaha GBR 102
  12. Alex De Angelis Aprilia SM 80
  13. Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 76
  14. Román Ramos Kawasaki ESP 70
  15. Joshua Brookes BMW AUS 69
  16. Markus Reiterberger BMW DEU 68
  17. Anthony West Kawasaki AUS 55
  18. Karel Abraham BMW CZE 33
  19. Niccolò Canepa Yamaha ITA 30
  20. Matteo Baiocco Kawasaki ITA 12
WorldSSP – Sofuoglu fixes his sights on fifth title

Fresh from his winning form at the Lausitzring, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Kenan Sofuoglu heads to France with one thing on his mind- his fifth World Title.

The Turk can seal the crown in Magny-Cours as long as he finishes in front of his rookie teammate Randy Krummenacher, who hasn’t yet raced at the French circuit. After the announcement at the last round that will see Krummenacher compete in WorldSBK in 2017 with his current team, the Swiss rider will head into Round 11 with only one thing left to do- fight Sofuoglu for the title.

Kawasaki will be celebrating at Magny-Cours when they arrive at the Fassi French Round crowned as Manufacturers Champions. The brand has enough points to take out the manufacturers title thanks to their incredible riders’ performance throughout the year.

Everyone will be looking to Kallio Racing Team’s Niki Tuuli ahead of the Fassi French Round, as the impressive young gun tries to back up his maiden WorldSSP performance that saw him challenge Championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu before finally finishing second in Germany. The Fin’s impressive performance at the Lausitzring will see him push his Yamaha to its limits in a bid to live up to the remarkable reputation he’s built himself as a serious podium contender.

Last year at Magny-Cours, it was Honda World Supersport Team’s ‘PJ’ Jacobsen who took the win from pole. Though this year he has fallen out of contention for the title, that won’t stop him from trying to repeat last year’s feat. The American has a good track record in France and will be a strong contender ahead of Round 11. 

Jules Cluzel will be one to look out for, as he intends to make up for last year’s home round absence and will be fighting for home glory. Cluzel ended his season early last year after a crash in Jerez a round before Magny-Cours, which put him on the sidelines with broken bones. The Frenchman will count on his extensive experience at his home circuit to put his MV Agusta on the podium. FIM Europe Supersport Cup rider Cedric Tangre will be sure to bring the fight for home glory to Cluzel on his Suzuki. The reigning French National Champion won’t let Cluzel get away easily.

Luke Stapleford has been a solid contender all season, with the British Champion always striving to get his Triumph at the front and Magny-Cours will see no less from him.

WorldSSP Championship Standings Round 10
  1. Kenan Sofuoglu Puccetti Racing Team 171 points
  2. Randy Krummenacher Puccetti Racing Team 118 points
  3. PJ Jacobsen Honda World Supersport Team 109 points
STK1000 – Magny-Cours Could See STK1000 Champion Crowned

The STK1000 title has kept everyone on the edge of their seats, as the Cup lead swings between Leandro Mercado and Raffaele De Rosa round by round. The race at the Lausitzring saw the Argentinian end the weekend leading by 14 points as the pendulum swayed in his favour. That could easily be turned on its head going in to the penultimate round of the FIM Stock 1000 Cup at Magny-Cours.

Bryan Staring enjoyed a stellar return from injury to finish second at Lausitzring.

Althea BMW Racing Team’s Raffaele De Rosa had the advantage before the last round but mixed conditions saw him struggle while his main rival Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado dominated the wet on his Ducati. Mercado has the advantage heading to the Fassi French Round and if he can take the win, he can be crowned the Cup Winner. 

Pedercini Racing Kawasaki duo Jeremy Guarnoni and Christophe Ponsson will be fighting for top honours as the Frenchmen will be pushing for glory on home soil. Last year saw Guarnoni take the win in Magny-Cours, a result he hopes to replicate again.

Adding to the assembly of local heroes, the Fassi French Round hopes to welcome Florian Marino back from injury. The young Frenchman is hopeful his return to the tarmac will be at Magny-Cours provided he can pass his medical examination. There will be much to look forward to if he does as Marino and teammate Riccardo Russo, together with their sister team in WorldSBK had an exclusive private test at the French Circuit during the summer. Marino and Russo will be looking to put that extra track time to good use ahead of the weekend’s race.

After his second place finish at Magny-Cours last year, and consistent fast pace throughout this season, Kevin Calia will be a rider to watch as he tries to take his Aprilia to the top and advance last year’s podium.