The race weekend at Magny-Cours, in France, ended with an extraordinary win by Jules Cluzel in Supersport and an excellent 8th place by Claudio Corti in Race 2 in Superbike.
In the Supersport event Cluzel rode with precision and intelligence. In addition to Saturday’s pole position, Jules also notched up a lap time of 1’40.550, earning him the fastest lap in the category and the track record. In the race itself the Frenchman got away well, tucking in behind race leader Sofuoglu until lap 9 when the latter made an error, allowing Cluzel to open up his F3 and move ahead of the field in this penultimate race of the season. The MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider managed both his lead and the on-track conditions superbly before the race was halted in lap 12 because of a broken air fence.
For the third time this season, then, the French rider takes the top of the podium, doing so, what’s more, on his ‘home turf’: this excellent performance now puts him in second place in the world championship rankings.
Massimo Roccoli’s performance also proved to be highly positive. The Rimini-born racer clinched the 7th fastest time in qualifying but a problem during the warm-up lap forced him to start from the pit lane. Nevertheless, Massimo grittily fought his way back up through the field to put himself in the points.
Jules Cluzel: “I’m delighted, it’s been an upbeat weekend. On Saturday we not only took pole position, we also scored a track record. During the race I was really focussed in order to avoid any errors, although I still had to run risks on account of the slippery conditions on the rain-soaked track. And I won at home, here in France, by a massive 20 seconds… it’s been a thrilling weekend!”
Massimo Roccoli: “I was fast right from the start, and the fact that I love this Magny-Cours track really played a part in that. The seventh place in qualifying was good pay-back for what was a great all-round team effort. When we got to the race, though, I had problems during the warm-up lap, which forced me into the pits and meant I had to start from the pit-lane. A real shame! Nevertheless, I really want to thank the team for giving me the opportunity to take part in this race and be so competitive.”
In Superbike, instead, patient teamwork resulted in a further performance boost to the F4, the race outcome rewarding the excellent balance of the 4-cylinder Italian bike. Riding in the wet, Claudio Corti scored two positive placings: after coming thirteenth in Race 1, the team tweaked the F4 set-up, allowing Corti to take eighth place in Race 2.
Claudio Corti: “The qualifying was done in the dry, but the race was ridden in the wet and our set-up wasn’t suited to the conditions. I was also slowed by a couple of contacts with other riders. In Race 2 things went much better as we were able to make good use of the data collected in Race 1 to improve the set-up. I finished 8th, the best result of the season, clear evidence that we’re improving and building on all the hard work of these last months.”
The last round of the season will be held in one month’s time at the Losail International Circuit, in Qatar.