Sep 30, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
From a press release
issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Chaz Davies (19), Eugene Laverty (58), Marco Melandri (behind Laverty) and Tom Sykes (66) in action.
France – Magny-Cours.
4th – 6th October 2013
13th of 14 race weekends
Munich/Milan, 30th September 2013. After the two podium finishes at Laguna Seca (USA), there is no time to catch a breath for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team. The squad and factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) return to Europe as the next races are already scheduled for this coming weekend. They travel to France, where the penultimate round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship is held from 4th to 6th October at the “Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours”.
After 12 rounds of the 2013 season, Marco is fourth in the Riders’ classification with 319 points and a gap of 42 points to the top. Chaz currently lies in fifth with 259 points. In the Manufacturers’ ranking, BMW is third with 390 points. This season so far, Marco and Chaz have achieved six victories and a total of 17 podium finishes with their BMW S 1000 RRs.
At Magny-Cours, the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup is back in action after a break of five weeks. For local hero and BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team rider Sylvain Barrier, it could be a special weekend. The Frenchman aims to secure his second title in a row in front of his home crowd. With two remaining races, Sylvain leads the Riders’ classification with 186 points and an advantage of 40 points to his closest rival. In the Manufacturers’ rankings, BMW also has the chance for an early title win, coming to Magny-Cours as the leader with an advantage of 28 points. In the eight races contested this year, Sylvain has claimed five victories and two second places with his BMW HP4. His team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) also knows the French circuit. Last year, he contested his first race in the series there, impressing with excellent results.
Magny-Cours from the rider’s point of view:
“Magny-Cours is a very nice track. It is pretty technical and offers quite a few good overtaking opportunities. Last year I had a very good first race there. It was wet but the grip level was not too bad. So I think it will be interesting to see how it will be in the case of changing conditions this year. In race two it was dry with some wet patches. At that time I had nothing to lose so I pushed a bit more and I crashed. But anyway, it went quite well for us also in the dry so I am looking forward to the weekend. I just hope that it will not be too cold. In the last two rounds of the season I want to collect as many points as possible so my target for France of course is to fight at the very top and to win more races.”
“My target for France is clear: I want to achieve more podium finishes and wins. Magny-Cours is a pretty challenging track. You have a lot of hard braking areas and the grip level is average. Turn 2, a long right hander, is an important corner because you need to accelerate well onto the following straight. Another really crucial part of the circuit is the hard braking at the end of the back straight because you arrive fast going in to one of the tightest corners of the calendar. In addition, you never know what the weather will do at Magny-Cours. It is going to be quite interesting. It is one of the weekends where you never know what will happen. You can predict the weather in some places, but not there. But overall I am looking forward to it.”
Magny-Cours from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The two podium finishes of Chaz in race one and Marco in race two at Laguna Seca showed the excellent job the team did and our competitiveness. Now we are focusing on Magny-Cours. It will be a challenging round for the team, which will fly directly to France from the US. It will also not be easy for our riders, who have to be fit and go out on the track on Friday, despite that fact that they might still be adjusting to the time difference from Laguna Seca. An additional variable will be the weather which usually is unpredictable at Magny-Cours. In early October it could be cold and also rainy. We have to be flexible and ready to react to all possible conditions.
In the Superstock Cup, we head into the penultimate race of the season and Sylvain has the opportunity to secure an early title win on his home track. He really likes the circuit and knows it very well. He also rode the 24-hour race there and of course he will try to win in front of his family, friends and fans. We are quite confident but we know that we have to keep our concentration.”
Magny-Cours from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The race weekend in Laguna Seca showed that our bike is competitive. Now we want to build on that in France. Being a back-to-back race it is going to be no easy task for our guys but we are ready for this. It seems that our BMW S 1000 RR works well at Magny-Cours. This was proven in the last years when we have been on the podium there. The characteristics of the circuit which has a quite smooth and flat surface suit our machine so we are confident we can perform well there. The layout is a combination of fast turns but also a few hard braking points and some hairpins where the speed is very low. You need to get the best from the engine going out of slow corners so the engine management and the torque control will be fundamental. In addition, the braking stability is important on this circuit. We must also keep in mind that the weather can play a key role at Magny-Cours but we have seen this year that we are quite fast in both wet and dry conditions.”
The “Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours” is located in the rural department of Nièvre in the Burgundy region, about 250 kilometres south of Paris. Back in 1961 a racetrack was opened in Magny-Cours, which hosted events including Formula 2 races. This circuit has been extended and modernised on several occasions and was given its current name in 1989. From 1991 to 2008, Magny-Cours staged the French Grand Prix in the Formula One World Championship. It is also the venue for the famous motorcycle endurance classic, the “Bol d’Or”, which has been held there since 2000. The Superbike World Championship made its debut at the French circuit in 1991 and has returned every year since 2003.
Magny-Cours has a little bit of everything: corners of varying severity, three slow hairpins and a fast straight. This technically demanding layout does not allow the riders to find a natural rhythm. They often find themselves approaching the slowest corners they encounter all season at very high speeds, sometimes downhill. As such, stability, braking and steering response are very important. A fine example of this comes at the end of the return straight as the bikes enter the “Adelaide” hairpin. Here, the riders must brake from 290 km/h down to less than 50 km/h.
Among the characteristics of the circuit is the smooth asphalt, which can become very slippery in low temperatures or rain. This is particularly important in autumn, as the weather at this time of year can change quickly. The big challenge is to find the perfect set-up, not only for the extraordinary circuit layout, but also for any weather conditions.