PREVIEW: 2019 World Superbike Championship – Magny-Cours

by Robert Jones

Round eleven of the 2019 World Superbike Championship heads to Magny-Cours in France, with Jonathan Rea on the verge of a fifth world championship. 

Rea continued his superb form of late with two victories out of three at Portimao, and now leads Alvaro Bautista by a commanding 91 points with nine races to go. 

Bautista returned to winning ways in Portugal with victory in race two, his first since the Superpole race at Misano. It has already been a big week for Bautista after the conformation of his move to Honda for the 2020 season, and therefore will be hoping to finish the season strong with the Italian team starting this weekend. 

It won’t be straight-forward for the Ducati rider though, as Rea did the double last year and in the process tied Norituki Haga’s five wins at the French venue. 

Rea has dominated in recent years at Magny-Cours, but we can’t forget that Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes both have three victories each, while Marco Melandri is the only other winner on the current grid with one win. 

Davies and Sykes have both been in stellar from over the second part of the season, and although third place in the championship is not out of the question, both riders will need a strong points haul this weekend to keep their slim chances intact. 

Alex Lowes leads the race for that all-important third place in the standings ahead of teammate Micahel Van Der Mark by a margin of five points. With the Brit’s future up in the air at the moment, and his Pata Yamaha seat likely heading the way of Toprak Razgatlioglu, these last three rounds will be crucial for Lowes in his hunt for a factory ride next year. 

Returning to action this weekend will be Leon Camier for Honda, who has been sidelined since Imola due to injuries.

Taking a look at the circuit characteristics and recent results at Magny-Cours, it goes without saying that Rea starts the weekend as the favorite. However, it is Ducati who have the most success as a team with 16 wins and 38 podiums in total. 

Magny-Cours should be another thrilling round in what has been an unpredictable but spectacular 2019 World Superbike season so far. Friday’s action gets underway at 9:30am UK time with free practice one, followed by free practice two at 14:00pm.

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