Magny-Cours WorldSBK Preview – What to Expect in France

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The final European round of the WorldSBK season sees Magny-Cours play host to Jonathan Rea’s first attempt to make history by winning a fourth consecutive championship.

The Northern Irishman is on the cusp of history, and he clinched the title here 12 months ago.

Can Rea Clinch It?

It would be a surprise if Rea doesn’t leave France with the title in the bag.

Over the course of the last three rounds, he has been undefeated, and even though Magny-Cours has been a happy hunting ground in the past for Chaz Davies, the Welshman is up against it due to injury.

The stars are aligned for Rea to make history this weekend.

Yamaha Out to Impress

Last year, Yamaha had both riders finish on the rostrum at Magny-Cours, and for Michael van der Mark a double podium has to be the target as he seeks to hunt down Davies in the fight for second in the standings.

At Portimão, the team had a mixed weekend with the Dutchman on the podium in both races, and Alex Lowes having one of his most challenging rounds of the season.

Confirmations Upcoming

The grid could look very differently in 2019, with two Yamaha’s expected to be fielded by the GRT squad. The Italian supersport team is expected to announce soon that they will make their long-rumored step up to the Superbike class.

The team has been struggling to find a sponsor for the season, but this appears to have been solved and a two rider lineup is likely with the team favoring a young SSP rider, likely to be Federico Caricasulo, alongside an experienced hand to appease sponsors. That rider looks likely to be Marco Melandri.

The Milwaukee Aprilia squad is also likely to confirm its title sponsor for next year with an announcement expected soon about their bike and rider lineup, with a BMW the most likely opening, but Ducati and Honda still a possibility.

Photo: WorldSBK

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Steve English

"Superbike Steve" is known best for his on-air hosting of the WorldSBK race feed, but when he's not looking pretty for the camera, he is busy writing stories and taking photographs for Asphalt & Rubber.