WSBK » 4 October 2007
Preview – Magny-Cours.
With a significant financial incentive up for grabs to the youngest rider to finish inside the top ten, ninth and tenth placed riders Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Germany) and Michel Fabrizio (DFX Corse Honda) are now locked in a personal battle for supremacy for more reasons than just personal pride and team honour.
Although 134 points behind Neukirchner, Fabrizio - who will replace Lanzi next season - is the younger rider and thus if he continues in the top ten, he will take the prize money on the last day.
Fabrizio just has to have a better final day than PSG-1 Kawasaki's Laconi, who is only one point behind Fabrizio in 11th place as he enters his home round. It is not yet clear if 12th placed Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) will be able to ride at Magny-Cours, after injury ruled him out of the previous round, but he travels to the French track in any case.
Fonsi Nieto will be out to end his Kawasaki Superbike career on a high, and has hopes that a pair of top tens will not be beyond his grasp. Currently 13th behind Kagayama, Nieto heads Jakub Smrz (SC Caracchi Ducati) Vallelunga top ten talent Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha YZF Team) and the ever-combative Karl Muggeridge (Alto Evolution Honda).
Muggeridge's team-mate Yoann Tiberio ends his first few races in WSBK with a home meeting, looking to secure points in both races, as he did at Vallelunga.
The 2007 title was long ago decided in the World Supersport championship, but should Kenan Sofuoglu score the race win at Magny-Cours he would carve out his own little piece of history in the class.
Currently he is on seven race wins, equalling the record of another former Ten Kate Honda champion, Karl Muggeridge, but a victory in France would set him out on his own on eight. He has reasons to be hopeful, having been on for the win in 2006 before finishing an easy second behind team leader Sebastien Charpentier, as the Frenchman stole the title.
Fabien Foret (GIL Kawasaki) had a dreadful time at Vallelunga but the mercurial French talent hopes his machine set-up will be optimised enough to allow him to keep second overall, as Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport Team) is only 15 points adrift now.
Katsuaki Fujiwara (Althea Honda) will have to win the race at Magny-Cours and hope that Parkes does not score to get back into the third place he held for a long time this year but - while still nursing a recently broken left foot - he may have more to worry about from behind, as Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni) is now only nine points adrift of the Japanese ace, despite a DNF in Italy.
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