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Oct 3, 2013

The Final Round Of Previews Of The World Superbike Event At Magny-Cours

Eugene Laverty (58) leads a group of riders at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.


Magny-Cours, 3 October 2013 – With barely enough time to cross the ocean World Superbike will be back on the track for the penultimate round of the 2013 Championship season. The scene for the next challenge is the Magny-Cours circuit, the setting for recent season finales including the championship victory celebrated by Max Biaggi and Aprilia in 2012.

The rider standings have been shaken up after Laguna Seca. Thanks to his podium finish in Race 1 and his extraordinary victory in Race 2, Eugene Laverty has moved into second place in the standings and is now 23 points behind Sykes who holds the lead.

The Northern Irishman's hopes are fed by the tremendous form he has demonstrated in the last few rounds where he collected 91 of the 100 points up for grabs thanks to the double win at Istanbul and the results mentioned above in the United States.

Despite the difficulties last year on the French track Eugene can count on his synergy with his RSV4 which has reached top levels this season. Because of this his goal at Magny-Cours is to continue making up important points so he can turn up at Jerez (the Aprilia test track) ready to lay it all on the line for the big prize.

Eugene Laverty: “My adrenaline levels still haven't returned to normal during the few days off since Laguna Seca! We achieved a fantastic victory on Sunday and we're going straight to Magny Cours on a high. The momentum is with us after three victories in the last four races. We're back up to 2nd in the championship but my eyes are fixed on the top spot”.

Magny-Cours is a home round for Sylvain Guintoli, English by "adoption" but French by origin. After Laguna Seca, a round where he found his first Superpole of the season but where he also struggled in the two races, Sylvain will arrive in France more motivated than ever.

He will be able to count on two factors this weekend: support from his fans, ready with a warm welcome for him, and the unpredictable weather conditions. In fact, the Niévre track is well known for an extremely variable climate which often has an impact on racing events. For a “wizard of the wet” like Sylvain this could prove to be the right opportunity.

Sylvain Guintoli: “After doing my first Superpole of this year and leading the 2 red flagged races for 15 laps, I have missed out on some very important championship points and Magny-Cours is the perfect place to make amends. Many French fans will be supporting me and that adds to the massive motivation of the ongoing championship battle. I can't wait!”

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:


FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Jules Cluzel will be joined by replacement rider and eight-time World Endurance Champion Vincent Philippe for this weekend's eni FIM Superbike World Championship event to ensure an all-out French assault for the team at Magny-Cours.

The English-based World Superbike squad will take on a certain Gallic feel at the 4,410m French circuit as home-star Cluzel gets a fellow countryman opposite him in the box as a substitute for the injured Leon Camier. FIXI Crescent Suzuki's full-time Frenchman will be looking to carry-on with the strong form that he showed last time out in America, when he took an impressive sixth and seventh place finishes in the two races. Cluzel won at Magny-Cours last season in the Supersport class and hopes that his knowledge of the circuit, paired with the recent improvements he has shown on the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R, will help him push closer to the front group.

Philippe heads to Magny-Cours hot-on-the-heels of securing his eighth World Endurance Championship with the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team last month. His familiarity with the track, and how a Suzuki GSX-R performs there, could prove invaluable as he learns how a full-blown Superbike handles and behaves. Philippe has raced at the circuit many times in the 24-hour Bol d'Or, including taking a podium there in this season's race and winning the prestigious event on seven previous occasions. He will be joining the team as a substitute for the injured Leon Camier, who is continuing with a thorough healing regime in an attempt to be fit for the final race of the season at Jerez later this month.

The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is situated near the town of Nevers in the Burgundy region of France, approximately 260km south of Paris. Originally a kart circuit, the huge improvements over the years has resulted in the current FIA and FIM homologated track, which has staged Formula One Grands Prix and is also home to the World Famous 24-hour Bol d'Or. The design of the circuit is demanding on riders, machines and tyres alike and with a mix of fast straights, heavy braking downhill sections and slow hairpins, it is a track that demands concentration and respect to give the riders any chance of finding a rhythm

The World Superbike schedule returns to its usual look this weekend, with the first free practice session on Friday morning, before qualifying begins in the afternoon. Saturday morning will see a second qualifying, when both Cluzel and Philippe will be looking to secure their positions in that afternoon's Superpole. Sunday's two 23-lap races will get underway at the usual time of 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST) and 15.30hrs local time (14.30hrs BST).

Jules Cluzel:

"I am finally having my own home race of the season after having two home races with the team - so this one is for me! Last year I won the Supersport race in tricky conditions and it looks like it will be the same this weekend, it could be cold and raining, so not much fun. We had some good races in America and I will be trying my hardest to get one of my best results of the season this weekend. I think we will enjoy it because it is a track I enjoy - not really in the wet - but in the dry it's great, so I hope it is sunny. I will have lots of family, friends and hopefully many French fans cheering for me so I want to put on a good performance for all of them, as well as for the team. I also want to welcome Vincent to the team; it will be great having him here and good to hear another French voice in the garage."

More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

French chocolate extravaganza for WSBK riders

Magny-Cours (France), Thursday 3 October 2013 – Today's pre-event for the twelfth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship was a master class of chocolate making hosted by the famous Maître Chocolatier Christophe Ragueneau, Official Supplier for chocolate and vanilla of the Élysée (residence of the President of the French Republic). Ragueneau brought his tools and his superb skills into the paddock, to teach a handful of WSBK riders how to make a number of delicious chocolate treats that people can find in his store at Nevers, as well as all around the country.

Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), Michel Fabrizio (Pata Honda World Superbike), Jules Cluzel and Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare), along with WSS rider Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) and reigning STK1000 Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), wearing chef's hat and apron, dove their hands into melted chocolate, to make some tasty chocolate biscuits that the attending media were eagerly awaiting to try.

Thanks to the contribution of the youngest riders present at the event –Baz, Cluzel and Barrier - the master class itself turned into a kids playground, with chocolate flying all over the place and ending up mostly on Michel Fabrizio's face and clothes, amusing everyone involved.

After answering some questions regarding the racing weekend, all riders saved some of their "handcraft" for their respective teams and friends, before returning to their usual duties ahead of the first day on track at Magny-Cours, scheduled for tomorrow.
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