Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
Superbike World Championship preview - round 12: Magny Cours


Round: 12, Magny Cours - France 9 October 2005
Circuit: Magny Cours
Country: France
Track length: 4411 m
Opened: 1961
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 40.754 (Neil Hodgson, 2003)
WSB lap record: 1' 41.219 (Neil Hodgson, 2003)
Last year WSB winner: James Toseland, Noriyuki Haga
Circuit web site:

Circuit Nevers Magny Cours in France is the venue for this weekend's finale to
the 2005 Superbike World Championship.

The technically interesting circuit is host to many other high profile events,
most notably the annual Bol d'Or 24-hour race, the classic endurance event
previously held at Paul Ricard, and the French Formula One Grand Prix car race.
It's also a favourite circuit of Yamaha Motor Italia rider Noriyuki Haga, who
won the last race of the 2004 season to take third in the championship.

That's the same position Haga occupies this year, his first on the Yamaha
YZF-R1, and another win would be much welcomed as he looks to cement his third
place in the championship and extend his current run of eight successive podium
finishes. "I like Magny Cours very much," says Haga. "Last year I was able to
push hard and make a first and second in the two races. It is an interesting
circuit with some long straights, fast corners and very slow hairpins. There are
a lot of places where you can make the pass on the brakes and this is where me
and the R1 have been strong. I want to keep my third in the championship but
also I always race to win - so this is first priority. If I make the good
results then the championship will be ok."

Team-mate Andrew Pitt goes to Magny Cours after a crash saw him fail to score at
Imola and slip back to ninth in the rankings. The Australian has been
tantalisingly close to a podium finish several times this season, recording a
best of fourth place in the opening race of the year in Qatar. The hard-working
former supersport champion is keen to end the year on a high and prove both his
and the R1's credentials in their first full year in the championship.

Yamaha Motor France have been looking forward to the opportunity to race at home
and on their nominated test track. Norick Abe has enjoyed several tests at the
circuit during the year, while few riders know the circuit better than team-mate
Sebastien Gimbert. The Frenchman has completed thousands of kilometres at Magny
Cours as part of the Yamaha GMT94 endurance team and he has caused a stir 12
months ago when he bagged a pair of fourth places as a wild-card for Yamaha
Motor France.

The championship itself was decided in favour of Troy Corser (Suzuki) with the
cancellation of the second race in Imola meaning he cannot be caught by second
placed Chris Vermeulen (Honda). Haga is currently third with a 27 point
advantage over outgoing world champion James Toseland (Ducati).

Supersport World Championship

The main places have also been decided in the supersport class, with Sebastien
Charpentier (Honda) crowned champion and Yamaha Motor Germany's Kevin Curtain
confirmed as runner-up. That doesn't mean Yamaha's German squad won't want to
end the season on a high. After taking a one-two finish at Eurospeedway Lausitz,
they found themselves in a similar position at Imola last weekend - only for the
race to be stopped due to heavy rain. In the wet restart discretion proved the
better part of valour and Curtain brought his R6 home to seal his championship
position while Parkes struggled with grip in the wet. With a new YZF-R6 being
introduced next season, the Australians are keen to send the old machine into
retirement on a high in France.

FIM Superstock 1000 Cup

Sunday's race action will begin with the battle for the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup,
with teamsters Didier van Keymeulen and Kenan Sofuoglu hoping to emulate their
Yamaha Motor Germany team-mate Stefan Nebel, who last weekend won the German IDM
Superbike title, by lifting a title of their own. Belgium's Van Keymeulen has
just a one-point advantage over his Turkish team-mate going into the finale,
ensuring a winner takes all showdown between the R1 riders. The only man capable
of denying the Yamaha men the title is former Australian superbike champion
Craig Coxhell (Suzuki), who is 13 points behind Van Keymeulen and will be ready
to pounce should the Yamaha riders slip up. A Yamaha rider also leads the way in
the Superstock 600 class, with Claudio Corti heading the field on his YZF-R6.
The Italian leads Yoann Tibero (Honda) by 24 points, with a 14th place assuring
Corti the crown in Magny Cours.