Auto Express

Hot and heavy for some at Magny-Cours on Friday

2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship
Round Nine – Magny-Cours
Friday Practice

The first day of WorldSBK action at Magny-Cours came to a close with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on top of the order. Red flags had been a feature of FP2, the first due to a crash by Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) on the exit of Turn 3, whilst the second was because of an engine issue for Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), leaving fluid on the track.

Having led the way in FP1, Jonathan Rea’s afternoon wasn’t quite as straight forward, with a lot of work going on with the front of his Kawasaki ZX-10RR after the second red flag. The 36-year-old, who is in his final third of the season and thus the last races as a Kawasaki rider, got back out for the final 20 minutes or so and was up inside the top six before ultimately taking seventh and whilst not improving his morning time, nobody else managed to beat it either.

Jonathan Rea – P1

The guys did a good job and my first lap was a 1’37.6. With new tyres the bike felt really good and I was able to get to a strong rhythm. We had a really positive FP1, then in FP2 I felt like the track temperature went higher and I was expecting to stop the bike better, especially in the hairpin. I couldn’t stop in the last part of braking. They changed the front chassis position, but in reality I really struggled on the side of the tyre, during turning and in trail braking. I lost some confidence, so although there were a lot of red flags that actually helped as Pere and the team had time to go back to the FP1 set-up. Even with quite a few laps on the tyres I was able to improve. I think the race options are quite clear for us. But we still need to improve the trail braking feeling and have more front confidence. I don’t know if we can say that we have fixed the issues we had with overloading the front at the start of the year, but certainly in these conditions of 50°C on the track we found that the front tyre consumption wasn’t as bad as we experienced at the beginning of the season.

Jonathan Rea

Team-mate Alex Lowes was also on the pace throughout the day and was ahead of Rea in P6 and the fastest rider through sector four, although warmer afternoon temperatures wouldn’t have been ideal for either, even if the valuable track time may help for the future.

Alex Lowes – P7

I love this track and I felt good straight away. We have had some bad weather here over the years, almost complete wash-outs, but it is always a great track to ride. It is quite difficult, with some changes of direction and elevation. It has always been a really enjoyable layout and I am always happy to be here. The bike itself felt good today, but if I could choose to I wouldn’t have such high temperatures, as sometimes we can’t go as well when it is really red hot. But, today I felt quite good. I tried both tyre combinations in the FP2 session this afternoon, did a lot of laps and we have got some ideas for tomorrow. I was competitive today, I really enjoyed it and hopefully we can challenge for the podium tomorrow.

Alex Lowes

As the track temperatures came up, the Ducatis found their form. First, it was Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) who put in a solid lap time to lead the session into the final ten minutes, whilst Championship-leading teammate Alvaro Bautista moved up into P3. Both improved on their morning times considerably at a track that recently hasn’t been one of Ducati’s strongest. Rinaldi took P2 overall as he goes to replicate his podium success and victory contention from 2022, whilst Alvaro Bautista, having not been too well on Thursday, finished the day in sixth, 0.274s off Rea’s morning pace.

Michael Rinaldi – P2

Definitely an interesting Friday during which we worked well and managed to improve compared to the morning. In the afternoon, despite the really high and unusual temperature for this circuit, we tried different solutions, also on the tyres, which could be useful for the weekend races. I’m confident and I will try my best to obtain good results“.

Alvaro Bautista – P6

I’m satisfied with what we did on this first day, also because I arrived at Magny-Cours in less than optimal conditions due to a stomach virus. Fortunately, since this morning things have been improving and this allowed me to do the usual Friday setup work, trying to find the best feeling with the bike without looking at the Chrono“.

Alvaro Bautista

Flying the BMW flag and indeed the Independent one, Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) put a stunning first day together and was second on the time-sheets in both sessions, taking P3 on the combined times.

As for the factory team, Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was their best representative with a late charge to P5 in FP2 and therefore P8 on combined times. Teammate Michael van der Mark suffered a fall at Turn 13 but was OK, taking 13th overall. Home-hero Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) concluded the day in 12th, with the top 13 riders in one second of each other.

Garrett Gerloff

Third in the morning and in the afternoon, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was in good form at one of his favourite circuits on the calendar. He was less than a quarter of a second behind Rea’s fastest time from the morning and less than a tenth and a half behind Rinaldi in FP2, taking fourth on the combined times and like Rea, not being able to improve his time compared to the morning. Team-mate Andrea Locatelli was solid in P8 during the afternoon session having been flying in fourth during the morning, but he remained inside the top ten overall, taking P5 at the close of Friday business.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P4

We are starting good just we did not try a fast lap, but in general the pace is very strong! This year it is a little bit difficult, also I see some other riders very strong today – Jonathan, normally is strong, today we did not see but in the race he is always strong! Looks like in the race, I think we will be five or six riders fighting. I am happy to come back again after five weeks, we ride the bike and I am enjoying my R1 today – especially this afternoon in the hot conditions we had good pace and I am happy! Today very important to find which tyre is best for the race, we are looking and we are happy. Last year we used a different tyre but hot condition always difficult, we found a good set-up for the race and we will see tomorrow because qualifying also very important.

Andrea Locatelli – P5

It was a bit tricky and strange in Magny-Cours to find these really warm conditions today! The feeling with my R1 from this morning was good and in FP2 we improved the grip – I’m so happy about the start of our work and the weekend so far! We will see what we can do tomorrow during Race 1, but the feeling is not so bad – maybe we just need to adjust something small but I think we can be competitive. We need to try to be really fast in Superpole because we know that if we start from the back it’s difficult to recover and follow the front group – It’s important to try to start in front tomorrow and then build during the race, but I think we can do! We will have more or less the same conditions tomorrow and Sunday, so the tyre selection can be clear – we need to try tomorrow morning to understand if the choice we want to make for the race is correct but I think we have a clear idea.

There was a dramatic day for Honda, who announced coming into the round that their super concession had been activated with a new chassis. After a quiet opening session, Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) started FP2 with a bang, with a big highside exiting Turn 3. He got caught up with the bike which cartwheeled through the air in a cloud of dust and gravel, resulting a red flag. The incident seemed to be triggered by a moment a lap earlier for Razgatlioglu, his knee digging into the grass on the inside of the turn, kicking up dust which then settled on and next to the racing line. Vierge was able to walk away, whilst the track was cleared up.  The Suzuka 8 Hours winner didn’t return to the track and will be reviewed on Saturday after multiple contusions to his right hip and forearm, but his FP1 time leaves him 14th overall. Teammate Iker Lecuona returned to WorldSBK action after three MotoGP outings throughout summer, and he was 17th come the end of Friday running.

New chassis for Honda, but no joy for their riders…
Xavi Vierge – P14

We didn’t start the day too badly and although our initial feeling with the bike was not perfect, we did some good work and already took a step in FP1. We decided to make some changes for FP2 and I felt good early, but it was really unfortunate that we were only able to make a few laps before I suddenly lost the rear through corner three. It was completely unexpected but then I realised there was some dirt, some sand on the tarmac, and that was the cause. It’s a real pity because we lost almost the entire session. But luckily, I feel good, despite the big impact. I will now rest and will have a medical check-up before FP3 tomorrow morning, because the crash was quite big so the doctors want to be sure that everything is OK. But as I said, I feel well and am not in pain, just ready to get back to work tomorrow.

Iker Lecuona – P17

First of all, I’m happy that my teammate seems fortunately unhurt after a massive crash, but I can’t honestly say the same with regard to our first day here. We need to understand what’s going on with the bike setup. We came here following some positive tests, but for some reason now we are not getting the same feeling. We are a way back in the standings and the gap in terms of lap time is still too big. I also ran straight through a corner and into the gravel, so it’s difficult not to be frustrated with how today has gone. We need to understand why we had such a hard day.”

Besides Gerloff in P3, there were more Independents to watch out for, including Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) who took P9 with a late lap at the end of FP2.

Remy Gardner – P9

It was a very hot day, and we know we need to keep working and getting quicker. We’re lacking some pace, but we managed to improve a lot in Free Practice 2 and I got to learn the track more as well. We’re aware will continue to be a very hot weekend and we’ll probably face some scorching races, but we’ll keep working hard to have one-lap and race-long pace. I’m confident we can make a further step tomorrow.

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) suffered a chain issue in the morning but took tenth overall, improving his time by just over a tenth of a second.

Danilo Petrucci – P10

We had a small setback during our initial run and that impacted on our work schedule a bit. We used two new tyres during the first session and not in the second as we usually do. It’s really hot here and that didn’t help us either. We’re a little far off compared to recent races, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to find something that allows us to be faster.

After a massive crash at Turn 7 in FP1, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) had a much more straightforward session and was 11th at the end of the day, whilst Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) was the final Ducati in 15th.

After his engine blow-up on the exit of Turn 13, Dominique Aegerter was left down in 16th after day one, whilst Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) was 18th.

Dominique Aegerter – P16

I’m delighted to be back on track, it was a long break. I needed some laps to get used to the bike again, and it was my first time on the R1 in Magny-Cours too. Unfortunately, in the afternoon we suffered a technical issue with the engine that cost me time and prevented me from improving my feeling and lap times, but I’m confident we’ll be back stronger tomorrow. We’ll work hard to have enough track time, being conscious it’ll be a very hot race. I’m also happy to see many fans here, I can feel their support.

Brad Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) suffered a big crash on his return to WorldSBK action at Turn 3 after the first red flag, meaning he didn’t get back out.

WorldSBK Friday Combined Practice Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 J  Rea Kawasaki  1m36.900
2 M. Rinaldi Ducati  +0.073
3 G. Gerloff BMW  +0.081
4 T. Razgatlioglu Yamaha  +0.160
5 A. Locatelli Yamaha  +0.242
6 A. Bautista Ducati  +0.274
7 A. Lowes Kawasaki  +0.431
8 S. Redding BMW  +0.442
9 R. Gardner Yamaha  +0.662
10 D. Petrucci Ducati  +0.738
11 A. Bassani Ducati +0.762
12 L.  Baz BMW +0.937
13 M. Van Der Mark BMW  +0.978
14 X. Vierge Honda  +1.168
15 P. Oettl Ducati +1.214
16 D. Aegerter Yamaha +1.228
17 I.  Lecuona Honda +1.318
18 L.  Baldassarri Yamaha +1.383
19 B. Ray Yamaha +1.464
20 I.  Vinales Kawasaki +2.126
21 L.  Mahias Kawasaki  +2.208
22 H. Soomer Honda +2.771
23 O. Konig Kawasaki +2.890
24 H. Syahrin Honda +3.205

World Superbike Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
 1  Alvaro Bautista  427
 2  Toprak Razgatlioglu  353
 3  Jonathan Rea  251
 4  Andrea Locatelli  227
 5  Axel Bassani  207
 6  Danilo Petrucci  155
 7  Michael Ruben Rinaldi  147
 8  Alex Lowes  121
 9  Dominique Aegerter  114
 10  Xavi Vierge  105
 11  Scott Redding  99
 12  Remy Gardner  98
 13  Iker Lecuona  87
 14  Garrett Gerloff  68
 15  Philipp Oettl  56
 16  Loris Baz  42
 17  Michael Van Der Mark  23
 18  Bradley Ray  19
 19  Tom Sykes  11
 20  Lorenzo Baldassarri  9
 21  Hafizh Syahrin  8
 22  Leon Haslam  2
 23  Tito Rabat  1
 24  Isaac Vinales  1
 25  Ivo Miguel Lopes  1


Valentin Debise’s (GMT94 Yamaha) form in Free Practice 1 was enough for him to be fastest on Friday as he cemented his place at the top of the timesheets at Magny-Cours. At his home Pirelli French Round, the experienced Frenchman will be hoping he can secure a maiden WorldSSP podium.

The conditions in the afternoon proved to be challenging for the field with several crashes at the long right-hander of Turn 3.

Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) was second in the combined classification, with the Italian quickest in FP2 and Debise just behind, while Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) took third; the Spaniard was one of several riders who crashed out at Turn 3.

Tom Edwards ended day one 19th while countryman Luke Power was 24th.

WorldSSP Friday Combined Practice Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 V Debise Yamaha 1m41.083
2 N Bulega Ducati  +0.031
3 A Huertas Kawasaki  +0.053
4 S Manzi Yamaha  +0.302
5 Y Montella Ducati  +0.382
6 R De Rosa Ducati  +0.416
7 J Navarro Yamaha +0.461
8 N Tuuli Triumph +0.510
9 F Caricasulo Ducati  +0.512
10 A Verdoia Yamaha  +0.543
11 S Jespersen Yamaha +0.680
12 M. Schroetter MV +0.694
13 L Dalla Porta Yamaha +0.773
14 B Sofuoglu MV +0.900
15 G Van Straalen Yamaha  +0.947
16 T Booth-Amos Kawasaki  +0.999
17 J Gimbert Yamaha +1.007
18 O Vostatek Triumph +1.407
19 T Edwards Yamaha +1.538
20 J Mcphee Kawasaki  +1.615
21 C Oncu Kawasaki +1.728
22 F Fuligni Ducati  +1.874
23 T Mackenzie Honda +1.957
24 L Power Kawasaki  +2.002
25 A Sarmoon Yamaha +2.099
26 M. Kofler Ducati +2.152
27 M. Gregorio Yamaha +2.252
28 A Diaz Yamaha  +2.344
29 A Kofler Ducati +2.376
30 Y Okaya Kawasaki  +2.910
31 A Norrodin Honda  +2.970
32 M Abe Yamaha +5.296

World Supersport Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
 1  Nicolo Bulega  308
 2  Stefano Manzi  262
 3  Marcel Schroetter  214
 4  Federico Caricasulo  167
 5  Bahattin Sofuoglu  129
 6  Niki Tuuli  109
 7  Glenn Van Straalen  100
 8  Valentin Debise  98
 9  Raffaele De Rosa  95
 10  Jorge Navarro  94
 11  Adrian Huertas  89
 12  Yari Montella  87
 13  Nicholas Spinelli  66
 14  Can Oncu  63
 15  Tom Booth-Amos  47
 16  John Mcphee  46
 17  Tarran Mackenzie  40
 18  Lucas Mahias  37
 19  Oliver Bayliss  26
 20  Simone Corsi  23
 21  Anupab Sarmoon  22
 22  Adam Norrodin  20
 23  Andy Verdoia  15
 24  Tom Edwards  15
 25  Thomas Gradinger  10
 26  Federico Fuligni  10
 27  Filippo Fuligni  10
 28  Andrea Mantovani  9
 29  Harry Truelove  5
 30  Maximilian Kofler  4
 31  Luca Ottaviani  4
 32  Apiwath Wongthananon  4
 33  Alvaro Diaz  3
 34  Andreas Kofler  3
 35  Marco Bussolotti  2
 36  Luke Power  1
 37  Stefano Valtulini  1
 38  Rhys Irwin  1
 39  Adrian Fernandez Gonzalez  1


Matteo Vannucci’s (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) early lap in FP2 was enough for him to top the times on the opening day of the Pirelli French Round. The Italian was one of a few riders to improve their lap times in the afternoon as he finished more than three-tenths clear of Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) after the Italian went fastest in Free Practice 1.

WorldSSP300 Friday Combined Practice Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 M. Vannucci Yamaha 1m52.914
2 K Sabatucci Kawasaki +0.363
3 D Geiger KTM RC +0.491
4 L Veneman Kawasaki +0.578
5 J Perez Gonzalez Kawasaki +0.599
6 S Di Sora Kawasaki +0.700
7 J Buis Kawasaki +0.722
8 R Bijman Yamaha +0.818
9 D Mogeda Kawasaki +0.843
10 G Hendra Pratama Yamaha +0.888
11 M. Gennai Yamaha +0.891
12 F Seabright Kawasaki +0.992
13 J Garcia Kawasaki +1.132
14 M. Gaggi Yamaha +1.248
15 M. Garcia Kove +1.355
16 A Zanca Kawasaki +1.390
17 L Lehmann KTM RC +1.439
18 T Alberto Kawasaki +1.540
19 P Svoboda Kawasaki  +1.557
20 E Valentim Yamaha +1.628
21 H Maier Yamaha +1.652
22 Peristeras Yamaha +1.842
23 Osuna Saez Kawasaki  +1.858
24 Calatayud Yamaha +1.951
25 Bergamini Yamaha +2.116
26 M. Martella Kawasaki  +2.188
27 J Uriostegui Yamaha +2.473
28 R Tragni Yamaha +3.103
29 L Badie Kawasaki  +4.996
30 A Madrigal Kawasaki +8.746

World Supersport 300 Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
 1  Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez  117
 2  Dirk Geiger  116
 3  Petr Svoboda  113
 4  Matteo Vannucci  99
 5  Jeffrey Buis  99
 6  Humberto Maier  99
 7  Mirko Gennai  95
 8  Samuel Di Sora  83
 9  Marco Gaggi  62
 10  Bruno Ieraci  57
 11  Fenton Seabright  50
 12  Kevin Sabatucci  43
 13  Lennox Lehmann  41
 14  Daniel Mogeda  40
 15  Jose Manuel Osuna Saez  34
 16  Enzo Valentim  34
 17  Loris Veneman  29
 18  Julio Garcia  27
 19  Aldi Satya Mahendra  25
 20  Devis Bergamini  20
 21  Galang Hendra Pratama  19
 22  Alessandro Zanca  18
 23  Marc Garcia  16
 24  Ruben Bijman  14
 25  Kevin Santos Fontainha  13
 26  Ioannis Peristeras  13
 27  Walid Khan  6
 28  Maxim Repak  6
 29  Juan Pablo Uriostegui  5
 30  Raffaele Tragni  3
 31  Yeray Saiz Marquez  3
 32  Troy Alberto  1

WorldSBK Magny-Cours Schedule

Time Class Event
1700 WorldSBK FP3
1745 WorldSSP300 Superpole
1825 WorldSSP Superpole
1910 WorldSBK Superpole
1945 R3 bLU cRU Cup R1
2040 WorldSSP300 R1
2200 WorldSBK R1
2315 WorldSSP R1
0015 (Sun) R3 bLU cRU Cup R2
1700 WorldSBK WUP
1725 WorldSSP WUP
1750 WorldSSP300 WUP
1900 WorldSBK SPRace
2030 WorldSSP R2
2145 WorldSSP300 R2
2315 WorldSBK R2

2023 FIM Superbike World Championship Calendar

Date Circuit WSBK WSSP600 WSSP300
24-26 Feb Phillip Island X X  
3-5 Mar Mandalika X X  
21-23 Apr Assen X X X
5-7 May Catalunya X X X
2-4 Jun Misano X X X
30 Jun-02 Jul Donington Park X X  
14-16 Jul  Imola X X X
28-30 Jul Autodrom Most X X X
8-10 Sep Magny-Cours X X X
22-24 Sep Aragón X X X
29-Sep-01 Oct Algarve X X X



News7g: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button