#FRAWorldSBK Magny Cours, Friday roundup: World Superbike, World Supersport, World SSP300
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s opening day of action from the Motul French Round at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours was electric as the top three in the Championship went head-to-head. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was on fire as he stormed to the top of the standings, with Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in second and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in third. The afternoon’s session was dry, having been damp in FP1 in the morning.
At Yamaha, it was Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) who was flying the flag. Razgatlioglu put in a long stint on the same tyres and set 11 mid-1’37s out of a 13-lap run, showing his sensational consistency as he led the way for the main portion of the session and continued to improve his pace. Come the end of the day, it was Razgatlioglu who was fastest overall, whilst Locatelli ended up in 11th, as he continues to get used to the R1 around the French circuit.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was up inside the top six as he continued to get to grips with the Magny-Cours circuit in the dry conditions for the first time in his career. Having been inside the top two positions for the last seven races, Redding is coming into the Motul French Round in fine form and was good in the mixed conditions in the morning. Redding finished the afternoon in second with teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi down in ninth, with work to do for the Italian.
The Kawasaki pairing of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and teammate Alex Lowes were in good form as they took to the dry Magny-Cours circuit. Rea set a consistent pace and for the majority of the session, was sitting well inside the top five, whilst Lowes was also right with his teammate. The British duo worked away hard until the end of the session, before finishing third and eighth respectively, having been first and third in the morning’s damp-but-drying session. Rea’s in-touch with his Championship rival Razgatlioglu, but the Turk’s pace might well be giving him the edge over the race distance if conditions are to remain the same across Saturday and Sunday.
The 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship’s first day of action has ended at the Motul French Round at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. After a frantic day and arguably the only class to have consistent track conditions throughout, there was a big accident in the opening stages of the session with Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) and Hikari Okubo (G.A.P. MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) going down at Turn 3, with Okubo being taken to the medical centre for a check-up. By the end of the session, it was Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) on top of the standings.
Dominique Aegerter was in fine form throughout the afternoon’s running, with the Swiss bouncing back after losing his time in the opening session of the weekend for a yellow flag infringement. Aegerter kept improving right into the closing stages and had the better of Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing), with the Italian up in second after leading the way in FP1. Finding form at a circuit he’s more familiar with. He edged out the youngest ever WorldSSP race winner Andy Verdoïa (GMT94 Yamaha), as he flew the French flag up in third place.
Verdoïa’s teammate Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) took fourth after finding a good rhythm at his home circuit. In fifth place and making it three French riders inside the top five was Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha), with the wildcard going well and giving the home crowd to cheer about. Up in sixth place was Finnish rider Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti), as he returns to the track he won at back in the 2017 campaign, although he didn’t improve on his time.
The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship burst into life at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours with Championship leader Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) heading Friday’s running in both wet and dry conditions, with his time over eight tenths clear of his nearest rivals on the dry track ahead of the Motul French Round.
Huertas was fastest in the first 30-minute session in wet but drying conditions and continued that form into the second session with a time of 1’52.859s, comfortably the fastest time of the day. The only dry running in the afternoon was interrupted by a Red Flag with just over two minutes to go when Miguel Santiago Duarte (Yamaha MS Racing) suffered a mechanical issue at Turn 8, with the session ending early.
Reigning Champion Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) was in second as he looks to close in on the Championship leader, but he was eight tenths back from Huertas. Reigning Champion Buis had a four-tenths advantage on Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) in third place, with the field closing up behind Booth-Amos; with the top three in the Championship also the top three in the standings after Friday.