#FRAWorldSBK – Day 1
American star Gerloff edges Rea after wet Friday WorldSBK practice
Tricky wet conditions throughout the day at Magny-Cours but rookie Garrett Gerloff masters the conditions to top Friday running
Wet conditions provided tricky conditions for Friday’s MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action with three of the top four riders having incidents at the end of Free Practice 2, with Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) topping the combined classification at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Pirelli French Round.
Gerloff put in a late lap in Free Practice 2 to stop Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) having a clean sweep on Friday as the American rookie topping the session by just 0.015s ahead of Rea. Rea had an off-track excursion in FP2 when he almost came off his bike at the Turn 6-7 Nurburgring chicane; Rea able to stay mounted to his Kawasaki and recover back to the track.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) made it two Independent riders in the top three as he finished in third place as the Italian continues to impress throughout 2020. Home hero Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was in fourth place for the day as Rinaldi edged out his rival in the battle for Independent honours.
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was in fifth place with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in sixth; Sykes going top of Free Practice 2 briefly before a crash under braking for the Turn 5 Adelaide hairpin shortly after with the British rider able to get up without assistance.
Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was classified in seventh place for the day despite a crash in Free Practice 2 at Turn 15, just ahead of Leon Haslam (Team HRC) in eighth place. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) completed a strong day for the BMW outfit with ninth place, edging out Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) in tenth place.
Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was in 11th place, edging out Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) in 12th with Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 13th; the Spanish rider had been in the top five in the first practice session. Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) continued his comeback from injury with 14th place, ahead of Valentin Debise (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR).
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) bounced back from a Free Practice 1 crash to finished in 16th for the day while Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) finished the day down in 18th place out of 21 competitors, finishing just ahead of rookie Xavier Pinsach (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura).
#FRAWorldSBK at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours – Friday.
1. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) 1’48.830s
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.015s
3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) +0.084s
4. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.582s
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.722s
6. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Official Team) +0.887s
For more information in more languages, head to WorldSBK.com
Smith fastest after wet Friday WorldSSP action at Magny-Cours
Wet conditions throughout the day make running action but GMT94 Yamaha’s Kyle Smith tops Friday practice
FIM Supersport World Championship action resumed with the Pirelli French Round at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours and it was a new face on top of the standings as Kyle Smith (GMT94 Yamaha) mastered the wet conditions at the French circuit to go top of the standings as he continues to stand in for the injured Jules Cluzel.
Times for the front of the field were faster in the second Free Practice session with Smith lapping the Magny-Cours circuit in 1’54.549s to go fastest after the two sessions, heading off the challenge from Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) by nearly a second. Mahias bounced back from a crash at Turn 13 in Free Practice 1 to finished second overall for the day with the Kawasaki rider finishing just ahead of newly-crowned World Champion Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team); the Italian being pipped at the end of the second session by Smith and Mahias.
South African rider Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished the day in fourth place, despite a crash in Free Practice 2, after a strong showing in wet conditions as he finished ahead of Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team), with Manfredi the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider. Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) was sixth fastest overall for the day but had topped the opening Free Practice 1 session.
Hungarian Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) was seventh after both sessions with Karel Hanika (WRP Wepol Racing), Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) and Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) completing the top ten; de Rosa suffering from a crash at Turn 5 in Free Practice 2.
Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was classified in 11th place with Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) in 12th overall; Viñales was in the top five during FP1. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was 13th with Glenn van Straalen (MPM Routz Racing Team) and Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) rounding out the top 15; van Straalen having a crash late in Free Practice 2.
Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) and teammate Andy Verdoïa both suffered crashes during the day as they finished in 17th and 25th respectively, while Alejandro Ruiz Carranza (EMPERADOR Racing Team) had an off at the end of the session.
#FRAWorldSBK WorldSSP at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours – Friday.
1. Kyle Smith (GMT94 Yamaha) 1’54.250s
2. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.812s
3. Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.915s
4. Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) +1.028s
5. Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team) +1.238s
6. Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) +1.433s
For more information in more languages, head to WorldSBK.com
Booth-Amos tops WorldSSP300 timesheets after incident-packed Friday
British rider Booth-Amos bounces back from a Free Practice 1 crash to set the fastest time after Friday running in WorldSSP300
Conditions proved to be difficult for riders up and down the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship paddock with numerous incidents across the day at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours but it was Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) who topped the day’s running ahead of the Pirelli French Round after two Free Practice sessions.
Booth-Amos set a time of 2’09.900s to top the time sheets in WorldSSP300 at Magny-Cours as he posted the fasted time of the day ahead of Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) as the Dutchman looks to regain some ground on teammate Jeffrey Buis in the Championship standings with just two rounds to go. Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO) was third fastest after putting in a late lap at the end of Free Practice 2.
Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) made it four different nationalities in the top four as he put his Kawasaki Ninja 400 in fourth place, holding off a late challenge from French rider Tom Bercot (ProGP Racing); the Frenchman falling down to fifth right at the end of the session after being briefly top. Three French riders were in the top six with Enzo De La Vega (Machado Came SBK) in sixth place.
Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) was in seventh place after having a crash at Turn 9 in Free Practice 2; one of numerous riders to come off their bikes in tricky conditions. Filippo Rovelli (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was the highest-placed rider from Group A in eighth place despite a crash in Free Practice 2, with Polish rider Daniel Blin (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) and Eunan McGlinchley (Team# 109 Kawasaki) completing the top ten.
Alvaro Diaz (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) finished the day in 11th place, just ahead of Ukrainian Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) and Victor Rodrigue Nuñez (EAB Ten Kate Racing) in 12th and 13th respectively. Felipe Macan (Team Brasil AD 78) finished in 14th place despite a crash on the exit of the final corner at Turn 17, fending off Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) who completed the top 15.
Championship leader Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) could only manage 19th place over the two sessions and will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing Friday ahead of Saturday’s Tissot Superpole and Race 1. Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) and Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) were just ahead of Buis despite both crashing in FP2 with both able to get back to their machines.
#FRAWorldSBK WorldSSP300 Group A and B combined results
at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours – Friday
1. Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) 2’09.900s
2. Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) +0.736s
3. Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO) +0.895s
4. Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) +1.084s
5. Tom Bercot (ProGP Racing) +1.250s
6. Enzo De La Vega (Machado Came SBK) 1.265s
More, from a press release issued by Pata Yamaha:
Pata Yamaha Endure Wet Free Practice in Magny-Cours
The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla went to work today to find Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu the confidence needed to fight in wet conditions at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours.
In conditions almost better suited to Yamaha’s WaveRunner rather than an R1 superbike, both Free Practice sessions at the penultimate round of the FIM Superbike World Championship were held in fully wet conditions, as rain lashed down on the central French region. Van der Mark and Razgatlıoğlu ended the day 10th and 12th overall having completed 33 and 34 laps respectively.
In the wet, rider confidence is the priority so the main goal of the Pata Yamaha team today was to ensure both riders find the right feeling to push hard during the weekend’s three likely wet races. It was also the first time back on his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK machine for Razgatlıoğlu after his heavy high-side crash during Warm-Up in Barcelona less than two weeks ago.
Tyre and suspension settings were high on the priority list, to ensure as much grip as possible can be generated by Pirelli’s grooved tread onto the slippery tarmac. Working towards better combinations for each rider’s style will help them to push harder tomorrow.
‘Storm Alex’ is forecast to bring more rain tomorrow, but there is a chance that the final Free Practice at 09:30 (GMT+2) and Tissot Superpole at 11:00 could be dry. However, it is expected that Race 1 at Magny-Cours will be a fully wet affair starting at 14:00.
Michael van der Mark: P10 – 1’50.467
“The first day here in Magny-Cours and it was properly wet! Things felt alright this morning, I was OK with the bike and felt that we could improve in the rain. In the afternoon – at the beginning of the session – the conditions were better, I was feeling good and the speed was ok, but as soon as the track started to get a bit drier, we couldn’t make a step forward. I struggled a lot on corner entry so I’m a bit disappointed with the end of the session, couldn’t improve as much as I wanted but I don’t think we’re really far off. If we change a bit on my Yamaha R1 and I get my good feeling back in the rain, we’re ready to be at the front again.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P12 – 1’50.926
“This morning we had good pace in the rain, and it was also the first time back on the R1 after the crash in Barcelona. In the past, I have found the wet conditions difficult but it was a great start for me, the Yamaha R1 gave me better confidence than last year’s bike. This afternoon, I wasn’t able to find as much rear grip so we still have some work to do, also my physical condition is not perfect. But overall, I’m actually happy so tomorrow we will see what is possible.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal
“Unfortunately, it was a bit of a typical Magny-Cours day and it doesn’t look like it will get much better over the weekend! The most positive news from today is that Toprak is able to ride after the big crash in Barcelona and compared to his previous form in the wet he keeps improving. He seems to have more confidence and feel with the R1 and looks more competitive. For Michael, there are improvements to make in terms of understanding the feedback from the tyres in these conditions and improving corner entry confidence and outright grip. Not a stellar start today but a lot of solid work done, no mistakes from the guys and if it’s wet tomorrow, I feel both our riders can be in the game.”
More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:
Rain was the protagonist of day 1 at Magny-Cours
Magny Cours (FRA), 2nd October , 2020. Persistent rain and a slipping in the first session of free practice, conditioned the day of Samuele Cavalieri on the Nevers Magny-Cours circuit, seventh round of the WorldSBK 2020. The rider from Lido degli Estensi, making his absolute debut on the French circuit, did only eight laps in the FP1on wet track.
In the FP2 the rain made it even more difficult for riders to adapt to the Ducati Panigale V4 R, the #76 finished in P21 in the combined timetable with 1’57.493.
The day 2 will be opened by the third free practice session at 9:00 when the appearance of rain is almost sure. The Superbike and the Barni Racing Team will be on track again at 11:00 for the Superpole and at 14:00 for Race 1.
“Unfortunately even before I was able to get a feeling with the bike I crashed at a time when I was not even pushing, this made the whole day very difficult. When I got back on the FP2 it was like starting from scratch. We are not even lucky with the weather because I have done very few kilometers in the dry.”
Marco Barnabo, Team Principal:
“The slide of this morning made even more complicated the situation, Samuele found himself without point of references on a new track and in the wet. We threw away three quarters of the first session and in the afternoon we did the work that was scheduled in the morning.”
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
#FraWorldSBK FP. Under the heavy rain of Magny-Cours, Scott Redding and Chaz Davies conclude the free practices for the Pirelli French Round in P7 and P11 respectively
The rain characterized the first day of free practice at the Magny-Cours circuit.
After the morning session during which the riders became familiar with the new asphalt in wet conditions, in the FP2 both Scott Redding and Chaz Davies were able to make significant progress both in terms of time and feeling with their respective Ducati Panigale V4 R.
It was the first time on the Magny-Cours circuit for Scott Redding and the English rider took advantage of the FP1 to get to know the track and work on the wet tires, used only once in the season.
In the FP2 Scott found a good feeling and managed to stay consistently in the Top 5. A small crash without consequences 5 minutes before the end of the session did not allow him to improve his position further.
Comforting feelings also for Chaz Davies who in the afternoon worked a lot on the new rear tire supplied by Pirelli and was able to find, in addition to a good feeling, also consistency on the pace.
P7 – Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“If I have to be honest, I had fun today. It is always good to race on a new circuit and this one is really exciting. I would have loved to be able to race here in dry conditions. I was however satisfied with what we did in wet conditions, even with Pirelli’s new rear tire. I think we have great room for improvement”.
P11 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“We made progress in the two sessions. We have tried the new Pirelli rear tire and the feeling is that we have made a good step forward. I was able to improve lap after lap but it is clear that the gap is still quite wide. I’m sure we can make more progress tomorrow. At this point, I have to work mainly on my feeling with the bike”.
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Wet Opening Day For KRT
A day of cool and fully wet conditions welcomed the KRT WorldSBK duo of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes to the resurfaced Magny Cours circuit in France, with Jonathan finishing up second quickest and Alex fifth after the first two qualifying sessions.
Although some areas of the 4.411km long circuit still provided their own challenges after a complete new layer of asphalt has been laid since the 2019 French WorldSBK round, in general the new surface came in for praise from the riders.
There was a new wet rear Pirelli tyre at this round, as well as the existing standard wet option. Both KRT riders were able to evaluate the differences between them today, especially given how wet the track surface proved to be.
Beginning strongly as usual, Rea was the fastest rider in the FP1 session this morning. He was eventually second quickest in the final afternoon period as the track became very slightly less wet toward the end of the second 50-minute track outing.
Jonathan pushed as hard as he dared to learn the characteristics of the new track surface in wet conditions, but despite running off track for a time he remained upright and gained valuable lessons to take into the rest of the weekend.
Lowes began his first Magny Cours experiences of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR using the standard rear rain tyre, before moving to a newer development tyre on which he secured an overnight fifth place overall.
FP3, Superpole qualifying and race one will now be run on Saturday 3 October. On Sunday a 10-lap Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’ and a full distance 21-lap race two will round out the penultimate weekend of the compact 2020 championship, which Rea currently leads by 51 points.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Normally I would spend a bit of time in the box in the wet sessions, because we know our wet set-up works, but I felt good so I just wanted to keep doing laps and understand the new asphalt. We needed to understand the tyres as well. I tried both the wet tyres and the new one is incredible, definitely a step in the right direction. We got a lot of good info in the afternoon session. I had a moment between T6 and T7 today but I got away with it. We put a new tyre on the bike in the middle of the first session and we just ran it the rest of the day. I was feeling more confident and giving it more and more and we just found the limit. There was a bit too much confidence today, to be fair, so I will try and take it back a notch tomorrow.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “This morning we knew it was going to be wet all day and because it has been resurfaced here it is like a different track. I have memories from how the track was in the wet in the past but it is completely different. The surface feels a lot gripper to me and the times are a lot faster. The left side of the tyre still gets a little cold but in general the grip is a lot more. I actually enjoy riding here in the rain rather than just being nervous. This morning was not too bad and this afternoon I was one of the fastest guys all session. I am looking forward to riding again tomorrow and I understand a lot more about the bike now.”
In the wet Friday sessions Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) placed 13th overall and was again the leading independent Kawasaki rider. French rider Valentin Debise (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) was 15th from the 21 WorldSBK competitors. Xavier Pinsach (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 19th in his first ever WorldSBK practice sessions.
More, from a press release issued by Team Go Eleven:
WET FREE PRACTICES, RINALDI IS STILL AT THE TOP!
Cold and rain: the weather at Magny-Cours in October is almost never mild, and today all the sessions were in wet conditions.
In FP 1 Michael Ruben Rinaldi entered cautiously to become familiar with the track and to understand the conditions of the track and the new asphalt. In those conditions, making a mistake in the first few minutes would have been easy, with the risk of compromising the whole day. In the final minutes he improves lap after lap, getting closer and closer to the apparent undisputed leader Johnny Rea. On the last lap he is in line to enter the top three, but a little crash at the penultimate corner does not allow him to complete the lap. Rider ok who still manages to come back to the box, quite satisfied.
Free Practice 1:
P 1 J. Rea 1.49.356
P 2 L. Baz +1.351
P 3 T. Sykes +1.639
P 8 M. Rinaldi +2.982
FP 2 starts with more water on the track than in the morning. The riders starts setting much higher times, but as the minutes pass the rain drops in intensity and many manage to lower their Bests. Towards the middle of the round, the Go Eleven rider feels the right feeling and completes two excellent laps that take him to the lead. Just enough time for a quick pit stop and some changes to better adapt to the changed conditions of the track, and it’s time attack again! Rinaldi is constantly improving lap after lap, but it is with the last two laps that he manages to make a remarkable step; he ends behind Rea in third position a few thousandths from the leader. Truly a convincing performance on a wet track, proving to be at ease in all weather conditions. Sun is expected for tomorrow until early afternoon, with a worsening in the race time. In the weather uncertainty, there is one certainty: Michael Rinaldi is always in the WorldSBK elite!
Free Practices 2:
P 1 G. Gerloff 1.48.830
P 2 J. Rea +0.015
P 3 M. Rinaldi +0.084
Michael Rinaldi (Rider):
“It was a positive day for us; we tried to find the right set-up on the bike in wet track conditions and we got it. This afternoon we improved both the feeling and the lap time. Finishing in the top 3 of the day is very positive. Tomorrow there could be mixed conditions, so it will be another story. We will try to focus on ourselves and give our best!”
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
A strong display from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team during today’s Free Practice at Magny-Cours.
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team concluded today’s opening Free Practice at a very wet Magny-Cours (France). In typical Nevers fashion we had a wet FP1, however this did not stop Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty putting in a solid performance. Tom Sykes went about his FP1 flirting with the top 2 and lapped his best lap of a (1’50.995), putting him in third position. His team-mate Eugene Laverty equally in the opening stages looks comfortable in the top 4, however after small issue with his BMW S 1000 RR meant he missed the closing stages of the session. Laverty’s final position, P12 (1’53.251)
The weather for this afternoons FP2 session did not improve, which meant we had a wet second practice. Tom Sykes looking to better on his P3 this morning looked very comfortable on his S 1000 RR, and as a result improved on his (1’50.995), going over a second faster (1’49.717). Unfortunately, Sykes had a crash in the closing stages of FP2 at T5 which meant he would end the session overall in P6. The #50 of Eugene Laverty also made some good improvements from FP1 lapping a (1’50.022). Eugene looked certain to improve again on this time on his last flying lap, however got caught in traffic in the final sector. Laverty, despite the hold up ended the session overall in P9.
Shaun Muir, Team Principal:
“Good day overall. Both riders had a good feeling on the bike which is important, especially in these wet conditions. The team made some delicate changes to the suspension and chassis for both Tom and Eugene, which made a positive improvement for both riders. As the day went on the pace naturally got faster and by the end of the day, we were in the right area top 3, top 4 and both riders into the top 6 at times. Unfortunately, Tom had a fall on his final exit into T5 which is heavy braking, fortunately no injuries so he will come back stronger but before his crash he had a good feel for the bike. The wet weather will likely continue into tomorrow, and most likely also Sunday so we will be on wets most of the weekend. There is a slight possibility of a dry session, but I think we are looking at all 3 races in the rain. We will take our strong FP1 and FP2 pace into tomorrow’s qualifying and race.”
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“All in all, a satisfying day, although P6 and P9 might not show that. Tom had an unfortunate crash during FP2 which left a fair bit of damage, but we will sort that for tomorrow. Our pace from both Tom and Eugene has been good, in the rain we have been progressively moving ourselves up the timesheet. Eugene got stuck in some traffic on his last flying lap, so we definitely have the pace for the top 5. I am pleased, for me the rain can keep coming and let’s see what happens in tomorrows race.”
“The BMW S 1000 RR is making big steps forward, and we have shown that today. The general set-up of the bike has been good, of course in the wet conditions the competition becomes a bit more level, which coincidentally is where the majority of our podiums came last year. We did have a crash during this afternoons FP2 coming into T5. I was marginally on the left side on corner entry, which as a rider you tend not to do as it is very slippy on that corner, this unfortunately caught us out. I am looking forward to tomorrow. The weather is looking a little unpredictable from the morning to the afternoon which will be interesting, but for sure we will be coming out fighting whatever the weather.”
“I really enjoyed today. The first real outing on the BMW S 1000 RR in the rain was in Catalunya, and I felt comfortable back then so with the running time today we felt fast and consistent. The grip level on the rear today was really strong so I could push the bike to feel the limit. The grip also on exit with the BMW S 1000 RR is good, we just need to potentially find some more grip on corner entry to improve the performance. The new tyre Pirelli have brought here has also worked well, especially when there is more standing water. This has also helped with the new asphalt that has been laid here as the lap times have been a lot quicker than in previous years. My aim for tomorrow is to keep enjoying my riding, the bike feels good and I am enjoying my riding, so let’s see where we end up.”