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The 2021 season couldn’t get any closer, or could it?

As the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heads to the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Motul French Round, round eight of the season, it’s time to take a glance at what’s at stake this weekend. With Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) neck and neck going to France, we debrief their track history and look at their rivals, to see if their form could cause an upset this weekend.

325 – The last five races have seen three different manufacturers on the podium: two more and it will be an iconic 325th occasion that this has happened in WorldSBK.

300 – Leon Haslam (Team HRC) will become the fifth rider in history with 300 starts in Magny-Cours.

250 – Kawasaki points in Race 1 will be 250 straight points finishes. The record is Ducati at 344, set from Brainerd Race 1 in 1991 with Doug Polen 1st, to Valencia Race 1 2005 with James Toseland 3rd.

100 – The Superpole Race will be Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 100th start. He will be the 15th rider in WorldSBK with 100 Ducati starts. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) leads on 206.

40×40 – 40 podium places for Ducati at this track out of 40 races run, the record at Magny-Cours.

23 – The most successful French rider in WorldSBK history is 1990 World Champion, Raymond Roche: he won 23 races from 1989 to 1992. He won twice in France but at Le Mans, back in 1990.

19-34 – Magny-Cours has seen no less than 19 winners and 34 podium finishers out of 40 races.

19 – Great Britain is the most successful country at Magny-Cours with 19 wins. That’s nearly four times than their best competitor, Japan, at five wins, all by Noriyuki Haga.

17-1 – Ducati have 17 wins, but only one pole, in 2003 with James Toseland – his maiden pole.

17 – A podium before the end of 2021 will see Razgatlioglu break the season tally for a Yamaha rider. He and Ben Spies have 17 (Spies in 2009). Toprak’s podiums took 21 races, whilst Ben’s took 27.

16 – In 2019, Toprak Razgatlioglu set a record for the win from the lowest grid spot at Magny-Cours as he won from 16th and did it twice: Race 1 and in the Tissot Superpole Race. No one’s done it since.

10 – Yamaha is on a streak of 10 races on the podium, their best with Le Mans 1990 Race 2 – Donington 1991 Race 1 and Catalunya 2020 Race 1 – Aragon 2021 Superpole Race.

9 – The last nine races here have not been won from pole: the longest streak at Magny-Cours.

7 – Scott Redding is in his best podium streak: he’s finished first or second in his last seven races.

4×5 – Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) has a streak of five straight fourth places: an absolute first in WorldSBK. Locatelli has finished between 3rd and 5th his last nine races.

3 – Three riders have had three straight wins at Magny-Cours: Haga (2007 double and 2008 Race 1); Sykes (2012 Race 2 and 2013 double); Rea (2019 Race 2; 2020 Race 1 and Superpole Race).

1 – The only French winner at Magny-Cours is Sylvain Guintoli (2012 Race 1, 2014 Race 1).

0.5 – The closest Championship finish ever came at Magny-Cours, with Max Biaggi beating Tom Sykes to the title by half a point.

0 – For the fifth time in history, there is a zero-point gap between the first two riders at the top of the standings. Previously it had never happened past the 7th race of the season.

SHORTHAND NOTEBOOK

2020 race winners:

  • Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki, Race 1 and Superpole Race)
  • Scott Redding (Ducati, Race 2)

Last three pole-sitters at Magny-Cours:

  • 2020: Eugene Laverty (BMW) 1’48.644 (wet)
  • 2019: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) 1’53.955 (wet)
  • 2018: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’35.966

Manufacturer podium places (and wins) accumulated from all races at Magny-Cours:

  • Ducati: 40 (17)
  • Kawasaki: 26 (13)
  • Yamaha: 23 (5)
  • Aprilia: 11 (3)
  • Honda: 10 (2)
  • Suzuki: 7
  • BMW: 3

Key gaps Magny-Cours 2020:

  • Front row covered by: 0.142s
  • 1 second in Superpole covered… the top seven: 0.834s
  • Closest race gap between 1st and 2nd: 2.387s (Rea 1st, Lowes 2nd, Superpole Race)
  • Closest race podium: 3.206s (Rea 1st, Lowes 2nd, van der Mark 3rd, Superpole Race)
  • Closest podium of all-time at Magny-Cours: 0.412s (Toseland 1st, Haga 2nd, Bayliss 3rd: Race 1 2006)

Manufacturer top speeds at Magny-Cours, 2019 (dry):

  • Kawasaki: Toprak Razgatlioglu – 296.7 km/h, FP3
  • Ducati: Chaz Davies – 296.7 km/h, WUP
  • Yamaha: Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark – 294.2 km/h, WUP
  • Honda: Leon Camier – 293.4 km/h, Race 1
  • BMW: Tom Sykes – 290.3 km/h, Race 2