Chaz Davies was the man to beat on Friday at Magny-Cours, after finishing at the top of the time sheets in both practice sessions. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati rider consistently put in faster and faster lap times that saw him break into the 1’37 bracket to earn the first seeding to Tissot-Superpole 2 qualifying on Saturday. Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) said he has his sights set on a podium position this weekend and his FP2 performance showed promise to that as he finished the combined times in second, ahead of Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes.
The sun was shining at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours and with temperatures rising, WorldSBK riders were blessed with perfect conditions to prepare for the weekend’s races. The early laps of FP2 saw Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes slide out on turn three, with the number 22 rider limping away on his already injured foot.
Tom Sykes’ session was riddled with bike problems, as his back wheel locked up three times during the afternoon session, forcing him into his pit every time. However that didn’t stop the Brit from momentarily setting the fastest time, as he stormed to the top of the timesheets almost instantly after the first incident, making up for the lost time spent in the garage. The continuous technical problems ended the Kawasaki rider’s practice early, eventually relegating him to third overall.
Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) finished fourth in the combined standings ahead of Alex Lowes who rejoined the session to finish in the top five. Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team) came home in sixth after sitting out of FP1 as a result of technical issues, while Barni Racing Team’s Xavi Fores ended the session in seventh.
IodaRacing Team’s Lorenzo Savadori finished eighth while France’s hopes for a victory remain alive with Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) finishing in ninth. Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres ended the day in P10, securing his entry to the Tissot-Superpole 2 shootout tomorrow.
Kentucky Kid Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team) missed out on the top ten and will have to fight it out in Saturday’s Superpole 1 at 10:30am if he wants a chance at the top grid positions. Tissot-Superpole 2 will begin at 10:55 local time (GMT+2) ahead of Race 1.
Reigning World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu is all business heading into the Fassi French Round where he could be crowned World Supersport Champion once again. The timesheets were painted green by the end of Friday, as Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Kenan Sofuoglu and Randy Krummenacher finished with the two fastest lap times of the day, both setting times in the 1’41 bracket.
Friday’s final session at Magny-Cours went much the same way as the morning practice, where the Turkish rider dominated for the entire session. FIM Europe Supersport Cup rider Illia Mikhalchyk (DS Junior Team) gave an impressive performance in the last minutes of FP2, to secure third place on his Kawasaki.
By the time WorldSSP took to the track for the afternoon session, the clouds had rolled in and the temperature had dropped, but track conditions stayed dry. The session was red flagged momentarily as riders Ondrej Jezek (Team GOELEVEN) and ESS rider Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia) crashed out in the final stages of FP2, causing an oil spill at turn 5. Both riders were able to rejoin with Zaccone eventually finishing in the top 10.
GEMAR Balloons –Team Lorini rider Ayrton Badovini finished fourth ahead of Axel Bassani for San Carlo Team Italia. Kallio Racing’s Niki Tuuli was knocked out of his FP1 spot in the combined times, finishing sixth but still gaining entry to Tissot-Superpole 2.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel will be able to fly his French flag after finishing seventh in the combined times ahead of Christian Gamarino (Team GOELEVEN) in eighth. Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK #25) improved from FP1 to finally finish in ninth ahead of ESS rider Alessandro Zaccone who rounded out the top ten.
GRT Racing’s Gino Rea took a quick tumble before rejoining but he wasn’t able to improve his lap time, falling out of the top 10. He will be fighting hard in Saturday’s Superpole 1 session to have a fighting chance at the top grid positions in Superpole 2.
WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole 2 will see today’s top ten battle it out at 11:55 local time (GMT+2) to decide Sunday’s grid.
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