With only championship contenders Toprak Razgatlioglu, Jonathan Rea and Scott Redding bettering him in recent rounds, Andrea Locatelli comes into round eight of the 2021 WorldSBK campaign as one of the in-form riders. 

The rookie sensation has been phenomenal during the last three events which includes two podiums  - could have been three if not for a track limits violation at Assen. 

Along with Razgatlioglu challenging for the riders title, Locatelli’s improved form has also put Yamaha in the position of contending for the constructors championship, so long as he can keep the momentum gathered of late. 

Locatelli has jumped ahead of Michael Rinaldi for fifth, and is only 18 points behind Alex Lowes in fourth. 

While Magny-Cours will present new challenges for the Italian, it won’t be a totally new venue for the 24 year-old as he experienced the French track last year in World Supersport. 

Locatelli added: "Last year Magny-Cours was a new circuit for me in World Supersport, so I will focus on the references with the R1 WorldSBK in Free Practice in the beginning. 

"I think we can do very well there, I like the layout and we have been strong now for the last three rounds. 

"The goal is to get closer to the front, so I hope we can keep working and carry the momentum this weekend.

"For sure I would like to improve on our “standard” position of fourth, which is becoming something funny with my team! 

"If we can work on a good set-up on Friday, I think it will be possible to push on the maximum to get some good results again."