#FRAWorldSBK – Outspoken ahead of Magny-Cours

From 2023 rumours to Pirelli’s latest innovations and much more, the press room at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours was a busy one ahead of Round 7…
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is back in action this weekend at the historic Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Pirelli French Round. The media room was in overdrive ahead of the round, with new tyre solutions, riders returning from injury and plenty of 2023 rider line-up gossip circulating – get all the rumours and insight with the big topics ahead of the round.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I’ll try and be competitive…”

“I approach the weekend like any other; for me, I haven’t done a lot of dry laps with the Ducati at this track three years ago, so I approach the round without any expectation. We’ll work from Friday to try and get a good feeling with the bike, the same as I have done at the rest of the rounds, and try to be as competitive as possible and then we’ll see. At Magny-Cours, the weather can be critical as sometimes you have a lot of rain or a lot of heat. In any case, I’ll try to be competitive and try and do my best.”

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “Every weekend is a new opportunity… last year, I learnt a lot from Toprak”

“Every weekend is a new opportunity to score good points. Magny-Cours in the wet is a tricky circuit, as there’s a lot of areas that can catch you out. In the dry, it’s straightforward with the chicanes, acceleration points and braking; you need a bike that’s a bit of compromise on stability and agility. Last year, I learnt a lot from Toprak, from accelerating off the first gear corners. I’m open-minded and ready to do three really strong races.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK): “The feeling is very good… this is my favourite track!”

“After a long break, the feeling is very good! This is my favourite track after Donington Park, and I hope that we see two or three wins like last year. After the big crash in Barcelona, I’m feeling much better; it was a very big crash for me but luckily, nothing was broken. Now, I’m riding a bike without a problem and not feeling any pain, which is good. I am feeling ready; I tested the new front tyre in Barcelona which wasn’t bad, but I don’t know about the rear one. I hope that there’s no rain for Friday, so that we can try the rear tyre! This is my favourite track and for me, it’s very important in the race. I’ll try my best again, like last year.”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I don’t look at the position anymore; we’ll update about my future after this round”

“It’s been a strange summer for me. The goal is to just give 120% on the bike, I don’t look at the position anymore. If I give my 120% and win, I’ll be happy; if I give my 120% and I’m fifth, I’ll be happy. I don’t care about the result. We will update about my future after this round.”

Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “Luck hasn’t been on our side… I’m really excited to come back!”

“I’m really excited to be back! This season has been really strange, and luck hasn’t been on our side, so I’m really excited to come back and finally start my season. I think for me, the main thing will be to stay calm. We can’t go into this weekend and expect a lot of things; it’s been a long time since riding a bike and my body feels a bit different. As a racer, it’s quite difficult to stay calm but I will have to do it step-by-step. Magny-Cours is a track I really enjoy, it’s a track that I can ride quite easily. I have to stay calm and not expect too much.”

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC): “I have a lot of energy to start the second part of the season… I’m really happy that Xavi is staying”

“I have a lot of energy to start the second part of the season. Again, it’s a new track and I’ve not watched a video! After the media duties, I’ll go with my crew chief and with a map to do a lap of the circuit before getting on the bike tomorrow. We did a test over two days in Barcelona and we improved a lot, but about the bike’s pace in general; we don’t have new parts. We tried the new front tyre from Pirelli, which was good for the fast lap time, but we’ll see here if it will be possible to use over the race or just in the Superpole. I’m really happy that Xavi is staying in the team for 2023; during the testing and first rounds, we spoke a lot and had a good strategy, trying to help each other – not too much as you need to beat him – but I’m happy to have him again next year. To develop the bike, we needed another fast rider.”

Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW): “I’m really excited to race in France… we’ll have fun for sure!”

“I’m really excited to race in France! I missed the round last year but two years ago, it was a great round for me. In 2020 though, it was a COVID year, so it wasn’t a full round with all the fans, and I’m looking forward to having a normal French Round with a lot of people coming! The bike is improving a lot and BMW brought a lot of parts for the Catalunya test. I’m pretty confident for the round and it’s a track that I really like; the weather usually goes one way or the other but hopefully, it doesn’t change too much and we’ll have fun for sure!”

Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha): “It’s the right time… I’d like to win before I stop”

“It’s a long time of discussion and thinking but to be honest, it comes quite naturally and step-by-step. I feel like it’s the moment to completely change my life, but I’d like to decide when I stop. It’s the right time; I’d like to win before I stop, so I still have a few rounds! I want to enjoy the last part of my career and this part of my life before moving onto something new, but I just want to enjoy now. I have no pressure for this weekend and I’m fresh from injury. Maybe I’ll be on the podium this weekend… I’ll give my best!”