Magny-Cours (France) Tuesday 29th September: Just two days after the Imola showdown and the Superbike circus is back on the road, travelling this week to France and the "Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours."
The French circuit has looked kindly on Haga over the years and has rewarded him with several race wins since 2004. Last year the Japanese rider secured a race win and a second place finish, after a close battle in Race 2 with then Ducati rider Troy Bayliss. The Ducati Superbike proved itself to be extremely competitive on this track when Bayliss took the win in the second race in 2008. Michel crashed out of the first race and suffered from technical problems that meant he could only finish race 2 in fourteenth position; he has yet to score a podium finish at Magny-Cours.
Just two days ago on Ducati’s "home track" of Imola, Ducati Xerox men Noriyuki and Michel made it a double win for the team when the Japanese rider stormed to victory in Race 1 and the Roman did the same in Race 2. The points collected by the two riders mean that Haga has snatched back his championship lead, albeit by only three points, while Fabrizio has consolidated his third position in the standings. With only two rounds to go and 100 points on offer, there is now everything to play for.
Noriyuki Haga Speaks… (1st in championship, 391 points)
"I like the track and over the last years I’ve had some fairly good results. I really need to repeat the double win of 2007 again this season and will go all out to do just that. Imola gave us good points, enough to regain the lead, but we only have a three point advantage so this weekend is extremely important."
Haga’s Superbike form at Magny-Cours:
2008: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – 2nd
2007: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – winner
2006: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 4th
2005: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 3rd
2004: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 winner
Michel Fabrizio Speaks… (3rd in championship, 330 points)
"I must admit I’ve never felt very comfortable at Magny-Cours and you can see this by looking at the results. This season, however, I’ve had some much better results and so will be looking to continue the trend with two more podium finishes in France."
Fabrizio’s Superbike form at Magny-Cours:
2008: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 14th
2007: Race 1 – 14th, Race 2 – 9th
2006: Race 1 – 11th, Race 2 – 13th
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
Lap records: Fastest lap – Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1’39.818 (2008). Superpole – Haga (Yamaha) 1’38.444 (2008).
2008 RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Haga (Yamaha); 2. Nieto (Suzuki), 3. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) Race 2 – 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox); 2. Haga (Yamaha); 3. Corser (Yamaha)