Four weeks on from its last race, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki travels to France this week as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship returns to the Circuit du Nevers Magny-Cours for 2014’s final battle on European soil.
Delivering two strong sixth-placed finishes in the Jerez races last month, Eugene Laverty is determined to end his Superbike career with a return to the podium on board his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R. Having previously climbed the rostrum three times at the French circuit in recent years, the Irishman is looking to continue his development with the GSX-R1000 for the final two rounds before setting his sights on the GP class for 2015.
With two outings at the Magny-Cours track already under his belt from his early Superstock career, Alex Lowes is hoping his previous knowledge from 2008-9 will allow him to hit the ground running on his return to action during Friday morning’s first free practice session. The Crescent team has been hard at work since Jerez and has a new engine brake control strategy to introduce at the French circuit as well as other smaller updates so Lowes is looking forward to getting to grips with the Nièvre circuit, believing the Suzuki GSX-R has what it takes to tackle its technical layout.
Originally built in the 1960s and redesigned in 2003, the 4,411 metre-long Circuit du Nevers Magny-Cours has promoted Superbike racing since the early 1990s, with consecutive races being held here since 2003. Located just over 250kms from Paris, the track’s 20 corners test a multitude of disciplines throughout its clockwise revolution including the hard-breaking Adelaide hairpin and Estoril’s smooth and sweeping right-hander.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki begins its track action at 11:45hrs local time (10:45BST) on Friday October 3rd for the first of the weekend’s four free practice sessions. Saturday’s Superpole is scheduled for 15:00hrs (14:00BST) with Sunday’s two races showing at 10:30hrs (09:30BST) and 13:10hrs (12:10BST) respectively.
"I really expected podium finishes last time out in Jerez so I left feeling very disappointed. We need to find a way to transform our strong pace in practice into race pace. It's no secret that we have struggled to match the others on new tyres and a full tank of fuel and I hope we can make improvements in this area for Magny Cours.
“We've found a much-better clutch-setting though, allowing me to make consistently good starts and that's a huge positive. My aim is to qualify on the front two rows at Magny Cours, make a good start; and then fight with all my might!"
“I’m really looking forward to Magny-Cours, we’ve had an inconsistent few races but we’ve made changes going in to this weekend. It’s a track that I’ve previously ridden which will make a positive difference for this year. The team has made some improvements since Jerez and I can’t wait to get out there, work hard for the final two rounds; and get some results that the team deserve so we can all finish the year on a positive note.”