Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad S1000RR Superbike) says: “I spent the time since Portugal back home taking a rest and recovering from my injury. It still hurts, but I am feeling better with every day and now I cannot wait to head to Magny-Cours. “The last two race Sundays were difficult, but we left them behind us and are motivated as always to fight. For sure the final round of the season will not be an easy one as the top is closely fought. For us it is important to work hard from the first day on in order to best prepare for the races.“I like the Magny-Cours circuit. Last year I raced there for the first time and had two very good races. It is a difficult but interesting circuit which offers a combination of everything. When I first rode there, it took me some time to find the best way of braking for the slow corners, but then I found a good feeling and was riding pretty fast. I also like it because the surface is very smooth. I had a lot of fun there last year and that is my target for this year, too. I want to enjoy the final round and finish the season with the best possible performance and the best possible results.” In 25 editions of the Superbike World Championship, this will be the 15th time the title is assigned at the final round. Magny-Cours has been decisive on three occasions: in 1991 Texan Doug Polen took his first title with three rounds remaining, while in both 2004 and 2007 the championship went right down to the wire, with Britain’s James Toseland getting the nod on both occasions – the first when he beat home favourite Règis Laconi, the second against Noriyuki Haga.The Manufacturers’ battle is also at stake: Aprilia lead the way with 422.5 points, against BMW on 394 and reigning champions Ducati on 375. As well as Max Biaggi the Italian manufacturer can count on excellent support from Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (ParkinGo MTC Racing Aprilia), two youngsters who have already celebrated their first win on the RSV4 in the last two rounds this year, respectively at Portimao and Nurburgring. If they manage to win this title, for Aprilia it would mean a 50th title conquered in Superbike, Grand Prix Road Racing and Off-Road.At the final round of the 25th edition of the FIM Superbike World Championship, numerous other riders will be aiming to finish off the season with a podium place or a result that may modify the outcome of the title. These will undoubtedly include the outgoing champion Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) who began testing with Ducati’s new 1199, which will be fielded in 2013, after the Portimao round. Teammate Davide Giugliano, at 22 years of age one of the revelations of this year, also took part in the testing.All eyes will also be on Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) following his double experience in MotoGP with Honda HRC. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland has never really had much luck at Magny-Cours but one year ago he did manage to score the Tissot-Superpole.Expectations are high for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team following some great recent performances. The Japanese manufacturer has never won on this track, but it does have six second places to its name, so maybe Leon Camier, who went well at Portimao, will manage to buck this trend.The final round will define the remaining top positions with Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Racing Ducati) currently holding onto the eighth place he has conquered with two wins and some other great races, while another Frenchman Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) is also looking to finish his debut season, with one win and three podiums to his name, on a high note: the 19-year-old is currently 12th overall and will be racing in front of his home fans. Two last-minute changes see the Effenbert Liberty team declare themselves absent from the final round completely, while one of the team’s former riders Maxime Berger lines up for Red Devils Roma in place of the injured Niccolò Canepa.
2012 World Superbike Points (after 13 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 347; 2. Sykes 316,5; 3. Melandri 308.5; 4. Checa 278.5; 5. Rea 255.5; 6. Laverty 241.5; 7. Haslam 189; 8. Guintoli 172.5; 9. Davies 156.5; 10. Fabrizio 133.5; etc.Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 422.5; 2. BMW 394; 3. Ducati 375; 4. Kawasaki 356.5; 5. Honda 270.5; 6. Suzuki 130.5.