World Superbike at Magny-Cours: rain hampers the opening day of free practice at the French circuit

Poor weather conditions disturbed the first two free practice sessions at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, making the surface very slippery and considerably reducing the running time for the riders out on track.

Due to the rain, both Racing – Ducati riders, Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies, completed very few laps during the opening free practice session this morning. Unfortunately, the Spanish rider crashed unexpectedly at Turn 1 on his first lap but, after a lengthy stop in the pits to repair the bike, he did in any case manage to conclude the session. In the afternoon, during FP2, the rain came down even more, making the track conditions even worse and, in view of the fact that the weather is expected to improve tomorrow, both of our riders opted to sit out the session in the garage.

Tomorrow the third and final free practice session will be held at 09:00 CET, followed two hours later at 11:00 by Superpole qualifying for the starting-grid line-up for Race 1, which gets underway at 14:00.

Álvaro Bautista ( Racing Ducati #19) – 1’54.091 (13th)
“For sure it wasn’t the best day to make my debut on this track! This morning, on the wet track surface, I crashed after losing the rear at Turn 1 on the opening lap, but luckily I suffered no physical consequences. I quite like the Magny-Cours track and it doesn’t seem as difficult as Imola or Portimão. I could also see that in case of rain it doesn’t have much grip but it’s the same for everyone. In the second session the heavy rain made the situation even more difficult and because of my shoulder, which is still not at 100%, I preferred not to take any more risks and stayed in the box. Let’s hope that the weather improves for tomorrow and gives me a chance to increase my confidence with the track for the race.”

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati #7) – 1’54.133 (14th)
“I can consider myself relatively satisfied after the first FP1 session, even though I just did a few laps to get some confidence in the wet track conditions. In view of the better weather conditions expected tomorrow and Sunday, I preferred not to take too many risks today so I can hit the track better when it’s dry. I think we have a base now with the Panigale V4 R which is working OK but we are trying to optimize and improve that base at every circuit.”