Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours could be the setting for a historic MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship round this weekend, as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) is in the position to take the title for the third consecutive season. The weekend holds even more importance for Kawasaki, as they could secure the manufacturers title this weekend as the team wait in anticipation to see Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)’s levels of fitness following his operation last week.
At a circuit in which Rea has secured the double in 2015, and off the back of a stunning weekend in Portugal were the Northern Irish rider seemed to be riding on rails, it will be hard to slow him down on the ZX-10RR. Prepared to make some changes to his green machine, the 31 year old is ready for the challenge and is only focusing on the racing, opposed to the major challenge ahead of him. Hoping to find some extra confidence on corner entry, Rea will have an interesting weekend ahead of him.
“I’m excited for this weekend,” begins Rea. “Especially after such a strong weekend in Portimao, where we remained for a day of testing after the race. We found some positives that we can perhaps implement this weekend to give me some extra confidence on corner entry. Magny Cours is a great circuit and one that I’ve been strong at in the past. The circuit itself requires a little compromise when setting up the bike and we will also have to keep in mind the weather, as at this time of the year anything can happen. This weekend is the first opportunity we have to try to win the 2017 WorldSBK championship. I want to put that out of my mind for now and go and do my best in both races. I’m confident with how the ZX-10RR is now, and that we can go and fight for race wins.”
On the other side of the garage, British rider Sykes will be focusing on his fitness levels following his monster crash in FP3 at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Undergoing surgery in Barcelona just two weeks ago on his dislocated left little finger and cracked wrist, Sykes is prepared to take each session a step at a time. Heading to a circuit the British rider is fond of, he is hoping his fitness levels will keep up throughout the weekend.
Sykes explains his expectations ahead of the weekend: “I had a successful operation and now we are doing things on the medical side to make it as comfortable as possible for me to ride this weekend. We will play it by ear and on Friday we’ll try to build up to the full weekend of racing. Magny Cours is a circuit I generally enjoy. It is not a flowing circuit in terms of lots of lean angle, but it is a circuit where it changes direction though chicanes and has some stop-and-start areas.”