The site of a fair few double podiums – and one almost-triple winning weekend in 2021 – France has been good to the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK crew. With six wins in total, including his first two in the premier class, it’s no surprise that Magny-Cours has special meaning for Razgatlıoğlu. Teammate Locatelli too can find confidence in his own past results, with a terrific third place in 2021 during his rookie WorldSBK season.
The circuit itself is a contrasting one, with a history to match since it first made its appearance on the WorldSBK calendar in 1991 and became a regular favourite from 2003, as #55 Crew Chief Andrew Pitt explains.
“The first section of the track is really fast and flowing – a difficult part to get right but really nice when you do. Then you’ve got the really hard braking section, tight hairpin and some other hard braking areas – so you need a good compromise on the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK set-up because these areas are where the overtakes will happen. You need a bike that’s strong on the brakes but you also need to have confidence in the fast section, because you can make up a lot of time there if the bike is working well.”
Of course, inclement weather has played a massive part in throwing a cat amongst the pigeons almost every year in recent memory – but if this weekend’s weather forecast is correct, that could be very different this year.
“Generally you’ll get a day or at least two or three sessions in the wet – that’s just how the weather seems to be in the middle of France in September!” Pitt says. “Normally it’s very cool so tyre wear is not an issue, but the strange thing this year is that we will have all of Pirelli’s softer tyre options but the forecast is for hot, dry weather this weekend. Mid-30s is very strange for Magny-Cours! The plan is to start with a strong set-up base on Friday without any crazy changes and allow the riders to find a good feeling during Free Practice.”
The start of Free Practice 1 on Friday morning is at the usual time of 10:30 CEST to open the on-track schedule for WorldSBK, but fans should take note of the change in time for Race 2 on Sunday to 15:15.