What We Learnt from a majestic Magny-Cours WorldSBK weekend

Tuesday, 6 October 2020 10:51 GMT

Hot topics came in abundance in France and we’ve put them all in one place…

The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s title twist at Magny-Cours was one of the major stories across the weekend. However, there were stories aplenty across the Pirelli French Round, from Scott Redding’s (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) fightback, Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) on the home podium and the dreadful weather that France gave us. So, grab a cuppa and relax with all the big stories from Magny-Cours.

Scott Redding isn’t going to give up without a fight…

After his Race 2 victory combined with teammate Chaz Davies’ muscling Jonathan Rea off the podium, Scott Redding isn’t about to let the Championship slide away. The British rookie did what he needed to do to take the title to Portugal and Estoril in just under two weeks’ time. Although it is a huge uphill task where Redding needs to win all three races. However, he puts himself in a position that if he does it and Rea does have an unlikely nightmare, he could come out as Champion. It’s unlikely, but if it’s mathematically possible, then it is possible.

Baz continues to shine and remains in the Independent duel

Just when you think it goes one way, the WorldSBK Independent pendulum swings back another way. Loris Baz’s double podium finish at home in France means that he is still in with a shout of the title in the Independent Riders’ Championship. The gap is 31 to Michael Ruben Rinaldi and with three races playing out at Estoril – a neutral territory – who knows which way it will go? Neither have raced there before and it promises to be an absolute thriller. Who will come out on top in the battle of the private teams?

The weather can play a crucial part…

It was a terrible weekend for the weather at Magny-Cours, with it playing havoc in various Championship fights. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) is now more or less out of the fight for third. He is 47 points back and whilst Estoril is neutral territory, his form is not the same as the likes of Chaz Davies and teammate Michael van der Mark. That, is mainly, down to the weather, given that Magny-Cours is historically his best circuit for results. The BMW performance in the wet was sublime in Superpole and they achieved their first ever 1-2, a huge achievement and upset for the rest of the order. On top of that, Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) showed his wet weather prowess and was a real cat amongst the pigeons (or BMWs).

Honda still need time in the wet

Keeping with the wet weather theme, Honda were a little bit obscured by the lashing rain this weekend. The Japanese manufacturer struggled to hit any kind of solid form across the weekend and one huge disappointment was Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC). The Spaniard struggled on the Ducati in 2019 at Magny-Cours in the wet and it was more of the same this weekend, with just six points being scored over the weekend. Haslam crashed out of fifth in Race 1 and only scored three more points throughout the weekend. The gap between the two in the Championship is now just eight, meaning the battle is on for top Honda honours.

Teamwork is crucial

Chaz Davies helped his teammate out at Magny-Cours but Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) did the same for Jonathan Rea in the first two duels of the weekend. He helped pack out the places between Jonny and Scott and in a way, had he not done that, the title race would’ve been a bit closer coming to Estoril. We learnt that the teammates have been great wingmen at Magny-Cours and more of the same needs to happen for Ducati this weekend. Maybe Michael Ruben Rinaldi can help his 2021 factory chances further by getting in on the act…

Follow all of the action across the final round of the year at Estoril with the WorldSBK VideoPass!