Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Oct 2, 2013

Sykes Holds 23-Point Lead Heading Into This Coming Weekend's World Superbike Event At Magny-Cours

Tom Sykes (66) leads the FIM Superbike World Championship point standings heading into this coming weekend's event at Magny-Cours.
WSBK title battle lands to Magny-Cours

Magny-Cours (France), Wednesday 2 October 2013 – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be on track this weekend, for the second of two back to back rounds. The French venue will host the penultimate event of the season, which could be a decisive one for the four-way title chase. After the two races at Laguna Seca, Championship leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) extended his lead to 23 points over his main rival, who happens to be now Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team).

Both riders shared wins on the American soil in great fashion, but the one achieved by the Irishman last Sunday proved to be crucial for his and other contenders' hopes for victory. Meanwhile Sykes has mixed memories from last year's French Round (the season finale in 2012), as the win achieved in Race 2 proved to be just not enough to clinch the title.

Other works Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli is just one point behind his team mate, while Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) is in a more difficult position, as he still has a 42-point gap from Sykes. The Frenchman hopes to shine in front of his crowd, like he did last year when he won the first race onboard a Ducati, under wet conditions.

Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) is looking to keep the momentum up after the brilliant second place of the second race at Laguna Seca, while Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), following a best result of 6th last time out, aims high on home soil, on the track that saw him winning the World Supersport race in 2012. Leon Haslam will be facing the event in confident mood, after extending his contract with the Pata Honda Team (as well as his team mate Jonathan Rea) for another season.

Loris Baz' (Kawasaki Racing Team) participation to the French Round is still in doubt, as his conditions will be further checked before the first practice session of the weekend. Frenchman will nevertheless attend his home race pre-event tomorrow at the circuit.

Current Ducati GP test rider Michele Pirro will step in for injured Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare), while former WSBK regular Lorenzo Lanzi will make a comeback to the series, for the first of two rounds, with the newly-born Mesaroli Racing Ducati, onboard a 1198RS.

Standings (Round 12 of 14): 1. Sykes 361; 2. Laverty 338; 3. Guintoli 337; 4. Melandri 319; 5. Davies 259; 6. Baz 180; 7. Fabrizio 177; 8. Rea 176; 9. Giugliano 169; 10. Cluzel 160; 11. Camier 114; 12. Badovini 114; 13. Neukirchner 84; 14. Haslam 83; 15. Checa 80; 16. Sandi 47; 17. Elias 38; 18. Aitchison 29; 19. Iannuzzo 26; 20. Clementi 18; 21. Canepa 12; 22. Salom 12; 23. Lundh 10; 24. Hayden 8; 25. Lai 8; 26. Young 8; 27. Reiterberger 7; 28. Allerton 6; 29. Uprak 5; 30. Smrz 4; 31. Stauffer 4; 32. Ercelik 3; 33. Eslick 2; 34. Akiyoshi 2; 35. Haga 2. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 460; 2. Kawasaki 415; 3. BMW 390; 4. Honda 225; 5. Suzuki 212; 6. Ducati 152; 7. Yamaha 4.

World Supersport

Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) is only one little step away from an historical victory in the series, as the Brit leads the standings with a 49-point advantage over the only Championship contender left, Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), with just two races left to be contested. The Turk won a thrilling race last time out, in front of his home crowd at Intercity Istanbul Park, but the chances left to successfully defend the title he won last year are now very slim.

Fabien Foret could play a key role in keeping his team mate Sofuoglu in contention, as the Frenchman is aiming high in his home round, while Pata Honda duo of Michael van der Mark and Lorenzo Zanetti are targeting the first win of the season to try and stand in touch for the top-3 in the standings. Moreover, Local rider Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) is looking for a strong performance at Magny-Cours to turn the potential he recently showed into results.

Another change in the PTR Honda line-up, as American Corey Alexander and Brit Lee Johnston will be riding the Honda CBR600RR of the British-based team along with Danny Webb, Luca Marconi and Nacho Calero Perez.

Standings (Round 11 of 13): 1. Lowes 205; 2. Sofuoglu 156; 3. Foret 121; 4. Vd Mark 107; 5. Zanetti 99; 6. Scassa 74; 7. Kennedy 71; 8. Rolfo 62; 9. Coghlan 60; 10. Antonelli 55; etc. Manufacturers 1. Kawasaki 225; 2. Yamaha 213; 3. Honda 142; 4. MV Agusta 72; 5. Suzuki 30; 6. Triumph 6.

Superstock 1000

Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) is ready to tackle the penultimate round of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, and home event, at Magny-Cours, with the solid chance of defending the title. The 24 year old from Oyonnax has 40 points over Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Team Ducati), his only rival left for the STK1000 crown, with only 50 still to be awarded. Back from the US experience with Team Ducati Alstare, Canepa will be joined by debutant Kevin Calia, substitute rider for Eddi La Marra.

Local rider Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) is looking forward to the weekend on the track that saw him winning his first-ever STK1000 race last year. Leandro Mercado, after his maiden victory in the category achieved one month ago at Nurburgring, is aiming to bring the Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-6R again on the podium.

Standings (round 8 of 10): 1. Barrier 165; 2. Canepa 125; 3. Mercado 115; 4. Guarnoni 103; 5. La Marra 85; 6. Savadori 82; 7. Jezek 71; 8. Lanusse 51; 9. Bussolotti 50; 10. Andreozzi 47; 11. Lussiana 43; 12. Bergman 31; 13. Massei 29; 14. Gildenhuys 27; 15. Ponsson 18; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 176; 2. Kawasaki 148; 3. Ducati 146; 4. Honda 31; 5. Suzuki 5.

Superstock 600

The Superstock 600 European Championship battle for final victory is still wide open, as Franco Morbidelli (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) leads a pack of seven riders still in contention, with the closest to the top being fellow Italian Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki), just six point short of the rival.

Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior), Gauthier Duwelz (MTM-MVR Racing Yamaha) and Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) hold less than 20 points of gap from the leader, while Tony Covena (Nito Racing Kawasaki) and Robin Mulhauser (MTM-MVR Racing Yamaha) are currently sixth and seventh in the standings, with a gap of 34 and 49 points respectively.

Standings (round 8 out of 10): 1. Morbidelli 114; 2. Gamarino 108; 3. Chesaux 100; 4. Duwelz 97; 5. Nocco 95; 6. Coveña 80; 7. Mulhauser 65; 8. Nestorovic 63; 9. Salvadori 57; 10. Morrentino 44; 11. Casalotti 42; 12. Schmitter 38; 13. Tuuli 34; 14. Tessels 31; 15. Vitali 27; etc.

European Junior Cup

The challenging, one-make entry-level series of WSBK, the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda, heads to Magny-Cours for the seventh event of the season. The Championship situation sees Kiwi Jake Lewis (Jake Lewis Racing) leading the way with 4 points over local riders Robin Anne (Anne Formation) and 17 on Guillaume Raymond (Activbike). Fifteen riders, though, are still mathematically in the title fight.

Standings (Round 6 of 8): 1. Lewis 76; 2. Anne 72; 3. Raymond 59; 4. Flitcroft 56; 5. Canducci 55; 6. Bendsneijder 50; 7. Manfredi 50; 8. Fernandez 46; 9. Sebestyen 40; 10. Orellana 40; 11. Pittet 37; 12. Bodis 36; 13. Harland 30; 14. Fernandez 28; 15. Levy 27; etc.

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

Team Althea Racing – Magny Cours SBK preview

The thirteenth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at the “Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours” over the weekend of October 4/5/6. The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is a motor racing circuit located in France, near the towns of Magny-Cours and Nevers. Usually dubbed Magny- Cours, it was built in 1960. In the 1980s the track fell into disrepair and wasn't used for international motor racing until it was purchased by the Regional Conseil de la Nièvre. In the 1990s the Ligier Formula One team was based at the circuit and did much of its testing at Magny-Cours. The track nowadays is a modern, smooth circuit with good facilities for the spectators. Most corners are named after other racing circuits. It is a flat circuit, with negligible change in elevation.

Circuit main characteristics :
Length: 4.411 km
Pole Position: right
Left turns: 9
Right turns: 11
Superbike – lap record: Noriyuki Haga – 2009 – 1’38”619
Superbike – best lap: Tom Sykes – 2012 – 1”36”950

Just one week after the round that took place at Laguna Seca in the USA, team Althea prepares to face the penultimate round of the 2013 world Superbike championship at the French track of Magny-Cours. After the fantastic result scored by Davide Giugliano at the Mazda Raceway, the rider and technicians of team Althea hope to be able to repeat the performance in France, although there is always the unknown of the weather and surely lower temperatures than those seen in California. Morale is very high in the team and this augers well for the final phase of the championship.

Davide Giugliano: “I’ve not even had time to enjoy the result of Laguna Seca and we’re already en-route to France, where we’ll take part in two very important races at Magny-Cours. In America I once again proved that I can stick with the factory riders during races and that we have reached a high level of competitiveness. I like the Magny-Cours track although it often brings rain. Last year I finished eighth and sixth but my best memories of this track date back to 2011 when I mathematically won the Superstock 1000 title. This weekend I would love to repeat our Laguna Seca performance, to consolidate our position at the highest levels.”

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

More Wins The Aim For Sykes And Kawasaki In France

WSBK, Magny-Cours, France, 2 October 2013

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) arrives in France for the penultimate round of the year in a leading position after his latest race win at Laguna Seca, which makes it seven victories so far in 2013.

Sykes cannot be joined by his regular team-mate Loris Baz, for what would be the 20-year-old French rider’s home round, as Loris continues his recovery from a fractured vertebra suffered at the German SBK round in Early September. He should return for the final round of the year in Spain, at Jerez.

As in the USA last week, David Salom will ride in place of Loris on the second official KRT Ninja ZX-10R. A top ten finish in race two in America, David’s second ninth place finish underlined the performance level of a machine which has allowed Sykes and Baz to compete at the top each and every weekend, and win races in what has already been an intense season.

Sykes showed real maturity in the American round a few days ago to overcome an unexpected lack of rear traction in race two, especially as he looked on course for a double win following his victory in the opening race during what was his first ever visit to Laguna Seca.

Tom has now recorded seven race wins, 14 podium places, seven Superpole wins and ten fastest laps in the 12 SBK rounds so far. He leads the championship by 23-points with four points scoring races remaining.

After some recent experiments with race schedules, and even the days on which the races take place, France sees a return to the conventional weekend format, with Superpole on Saturday and two races on Sunday.

Aussie Mark Aitchison and Italian Federico Sandi continue their quest for more points in France, riding for the Kawasaki Team Pedercini Superbike World Championship outfit.

The Superstock classes return at Magny Cours, which means Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) and Romain Lanusse (Team MRS Kawasaki) will have a home round to compete at in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, alongside other strong Kawasaki entries from Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) and his team-mate Lorenzo Savadori.

Tom Sykes: “Magny Cours is a circuit where we had a good result last year and the Ninja ZX-10R worked really well there. We have improved the bike again this year so I am looking forward to going back there. I hope we can have a good race weekend and hopefully we can have an advantage over our competitors. It is that time of the season and everybody is giving maximum effort. I will have a good discussion with my crew chief Marcel and all my team to be ready for the Magny Cours races. It is much better to be leading than to be behind in the points at this stage.”

David Salom: “I will ride the KRT Superbike again this weekend but I only found out very recently that I would be able to. I asked my Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres Supersport team if I could and they said OK, so a big thank you to them. I will go back to ride with them for my home round at Jerez where I hope to bring them a good result. On the KRT Superbike in America I had a good result in race two, because the bike and set-up worked well. I need more track time on the Ninja ZX-10R to try to get closer to the front in France. The guys always do a good job and they know the bike very well, which should help a lot this weekend. A 1000cc Superbike is very different from a 600cc Supersport bike and it has a lot of power! The tyres also feel very different on the Superbike because they use slicks.”

Guim Roda, Kawasaki Racing Team Manager: “We considered, together with Loris, that 45 days should allow the injured bone to recover properly before he gets back on the bike. He should be ready for the final round at Jerez, but not Magny Cours. We offered David Salom the possibility to repeat the experience he had with us in the USA again this weekend. His Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress Supersport World Championship team, in a very kind way, have allowed him to accept this ride and he will compete for them again in Jerez. Our target for David in France is the same as in the US - to grow up session-by-session, improve his performances and have two good races.”

More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Superbike Team:

Quick turnaround for Pata Honda

The Pata Honda World Superbike team returns to Europe this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2013 series at Magny-Cours in France following last Sunday’s two 12th-round races at Laguna Seca in America.

While results at Laguna Seca were not what the team or riders would have wished for, both Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio left the US with some positives which they are hoping to take to the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit near Nevers in central France.

Haslam, 30, was able to demonstrate some pace last weekend but his results in Superpole and the two races did not live up to the potential shown, with a crash in the first outing and electronics problems in race two.

Michel Fabrizio, who will continue to replace the injured Jonathan Rea until the end of the season, made a breakthrough after Sunday’s warm-up and was able to produce more consistent and appropriate lap times during race two. The 29-year-old Italian is aiming to continue those positive steps at Magny-Cours this weekend.

Leon Haslam
I’ve got a pretty good record at Magny-Cours and I’ve been on the podium there a couple of times. I like the circuit so I’m looking forward to heading back there this weekend. I want to get back to a podium-fighting position in these last few races because we need to end the season on a high. We’ve definitely made some progress with the bike recently but every time we make a step forward we seem to get a bit of bad luck that puts us back again. It’s been that kind of season but, hopefully, that’s all out of the way now and we can show what we’re capable of.

Michel Fabrizio
The results at Laguna Seca were not great but I was quite happy after the race on Sunday because we made another big change to the front of the bike after warm-up and it worked. I was able to do faster lap times and the bike was much better for me, so I think we have a good direction to follow this weekend. My results at Magny-Cours have not been so good over the years, with only one podium, so we will work as hard as possible to achieve some good results this time.