THE FIGHT FOR SUPREMACY AND THE SUPERBIKE WORLD TITLE CONTINUES THIS WEEK AT MAGNY-COURS Magny-Cours (France) Tuesday 30th September: After the emotional rollercoaster that was the last Superbike round at Vallelunga, Troy Bayliss and ...
THE FIGHT FOR SUPREMACY AND THE SUPERBIKE WORLD TITLE CONTINUES THIS WEEK AT MAGNY-COURS
Magny-Cours (France) Tuesday 30th September: After the emotional rollercoaster that was the last Superbike round at Vallelunga, Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) move on now to the "Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours" in France for the penultimate round of the championship, with the winners of both the rider's and manufacturer's titles still to be decided.
In a spectacular second race at Vallelunga, Bayliss fell on the final lap, thus failing to take the title at the first opportunity he had had. As a result, his 101 point advantage over Corser has fallen to 79 points, with everything still to play for at the coming weekend's race. Mathematically speaking, Corser, Haga and Neukirchner, as well as Ducati legend Bayliss, are still in with a chance of taking the title, although Bayliss' lead makes him the clear favourite. Magny-Cours has been fairly kind to him in the past; he won a race at this track in 2006 and took second in 2007.
Back at Vallelunga, Bayliss' team-mate Fabrizio meanwhile achieved his best result of the 2008 season, finishing race two in front of his home crowd in second place. As the championship comes to a close, he aims to repeat that success this week in France, despite the fact that he has had mixed fortunes at Magny-Cours in the past.
The Ducati Xerox Team also plans to bring home the manufacturers title, with Ducati having dominated the classification from the start to hold, after twelve rounds, a 63 point lead over second-placed manufacturer Yamaha.
Troy Bayliss (1st in championship, 369 points)
Troy took a win and a fourth place finish at the French track in 2006 and a second and fifth place in last year's races.
"After the results of Vallelunga, I'm obviously wanting to tie things up this weekend at Magny-Cours. I still have a fairly big advantage in terms of points but that doesn't mean I'm going to relax, not until it's all over. I've gone fairly well at this track in the past and have won here a couple of seasons ago so I know that if the conditions are right I can get the results. It's very strange to know that I'm so close to the end of my Superbike career, just two races to go. I can't really explain how I'm feeling, I guess it hasn't really sunk in yet."
Michel Fabrizio (8th in championship, 201 points)
Michel has not yet had much success at Magny-Cours in the Superbike class but did step up to the podium, in third place, in the 2005 Supersport race and took pole position for both that race and the 2003 Superstock 1000 race.
"I would love to repeat what I did at Vallelunga this coming weekend. My season has been a little up and down but I've had six podium finishes and hope to be able to finish the season on a high - the only thing I'm missing to round things of nicely is a race win! I'm currently lying in eighth place in the championship but if I take enough points at these two closing rounds I could move up to sixth which would be a great result. I can say that I'm in a positive state of mind."
Name: Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
Circuit length: 4.411 km
Pole position: Right
Corners left: 9
Corners right: 6
Length of race: 23 laps = 101.453 km
Fastest lap - Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1'39.844 (2007).
Superpole - Toseland (Honda) 1'38.501 (2007).
Race 1 - 1. Haga (Yamaha); Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 3. Corser (Yamaha).
Race 2 - 1. Haga (Yamaha); 2. Biaggi (Suzuki); 3. Nieto (Kawasaki)