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Preview – Magny-Cours.

Three riders are still in with a chance of absolute title glory - consisting of two seasoned WSBK campaigners and one 'rookie'.

Top of the trio is long-time championship leader James Toseland who left his home round at Brands Hatch in August as virtual champion elect, with a 66-point lead and eight race wins to his credit. But after two subsequent tough weekends, at Eurospeedway Lausitz and Vallelunga, the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider's lead has been cut to 29 points heading into his last WSBK race before starting a new career in MotoGP.

Toseland's two main championship rivals, Max Biaggi - of Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra - and Noriyuki Haga - Yamaha Motor Italia - have been encouraged by the #52's recent dramas, but both would pay a princely sum to have Toseland's advantage going into the final two races.

There are a total of 50 points up for grabs from any rider capable of winning both races in France.

The 2004 showdown saw Toseland claim his first world title in style - overturning a four point deficit to Ducati team-mate Regis Laconi. There are almost endless points permutations that would allow any of the top three riders to be crowned in France 2007, but should Toseland win race one the title would be his, no matter the outcome of the second race.

2006 champion Troy Bayliss is already out of the title fight, but the Ducati legend is the only rider capable of overhauling Toseland's total of race wins this year, having scored his seventh victory at the previous round.

In addition, the double world champion will be all-out to wave goodbye to the 1000cc twin-cylinder era with a win or two in France. Next year WSBK will allow 1200cc twins to compete against the 1000cc fours, albeit with numerous performance checks and balances in place, but having won the world title on a 999 in 2006, Bayliss wants to retire the machine on a high.

Another double SBK champion, Troy Corser is also chasing a last round victory - in Corser's case a first with the R1 during a debut season with Yamaha Italia that has already yielded eight podiums.

Lorenzo Lanzi will be riding in his final event for Ducati Xerox this weekend, where he will seek to keep satellite Ducati rider, and Valencia race winner, Ruben Xaus at bay in the fight for sixth in the standings.

Toseland's team-mate Roby Rolfo is a further 15 points behind Lanzi after he was forced to retire from the opener in Vallelunga. Rolfo is still looking for his first podium of the 2007 season as he seeks to secure a 2008 ride.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Toseland, Vallelunga WSBK 2007
Biaggi, Vallelunga WSBK 2007
Lanzi, Vallelunga WSBK 2007
Giugliano Pole position takes award of Toseland, Qatar WSBK 2014 Qatar WSBK 2014
Baz 2nd place takes award from Toseland, Qatar WSBK 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Fernandez, Magny Cours European Junior cup 2014
Mercado, Magny Cours SSTK1000 race2 2014
Mercado, Magny Cours SSTK1000 race2 2014
Lanusse, Lussiana, Metcher and Mercado, Magny Cours SSTK1000 race2 2014

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