Having visited the two new circuits of Most (CZE) and Navarra (ESP), BMW Motorrad Motorsport is returning to familiar territory this weekend. From 3rd to 5th September, the eighth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship 2021 will take place at ‘Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours’ in the heart of France.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and riders Tom Sykes (GBR) and Michael der Mark (NED) already know the circuit very well from the WorldSBK. Jonas Folger (GER) and the Bonovo MGM Racing team, who are competing in their first full season in the WorldSBK, have already made a guest appearance at Magny-Cours in the French Superbike Championship FSBK.
Magny-Cours is about 155 miles south of Paris and has been a fixture on the WorldSBK calendar for nearly 20 years. A world championship race took place there for the first time in 1991 and WorldSBK has visited Magny-Cours each year since 2003. The combination of fast corners with long, straight sections and tight hairpin bends makes for a challenging track layout.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The Magny-Cours layout has a bit of everything and is an interesting challenge for teams and riders. We have been very competitive there over the last two years. Tom Sykes reached the podium in 2019, while Eugene Laverty and Tom claimed double pole in a great Superpole qualifying in 2020. However, this year sees us visit Magny-Cours a few weeks earlier, which could mean different conditions – it will be warmer, even though we can probably expect some rain to make an appearance, as usual. We have set up our BMW M 1000 RR to be ready for all eventualities. Our aim is to give ourselves a good start position in qualifying and to keep on reducing to the gap to the very front during the race.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “The team is looking forward to Magny-Cours. It is a circuit that has suited the BMW in the past. We have made some good steps forward with the BMW M 1000 RR and I think the improvement that we showed in race two at Navarra, we’ve got to keep building on that. The Magny-Cours circuit is fast and flowing with some slower parts and we feel that Tom and Michael can have a positive event. FP1 is going to be really important; we need to find that early set-up for the guys and end up with a strong races one and two. Overall, we are really focused on going to Magny-Cours and having some consistent, fair weather to give a true reflection of the progress we are making and we look forward to the weekend.”
Tom Sykes, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “I am definitely looking forward to the French round of the WorldSBK at Magny-Cours. It’s a circuit which has given the BMW podium success in the past and obviously for me my target is to add to that. The aim is also to maintain our recent improvement in form that we found for example at Navarra. That is the target for the weekend. Of course, there is still work to be done with the new BMW M 1000 RR so we will try our best to find the best balance and compromise to do this inside the race weekend.”
Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Magny-Cours is a track which I really enjoy riding. It always suits me. It has a bit of everything; fast and flowing sectors, stop-and-go corners, so it is a bit of a mix. Regarding the set-up of the bike, you also need to find some compromise here and there because it has all these different type of corners. I really love the first sector; that is one of my favourite parts of the track, but also the last sector is always nice for some good overtaking. I am looking forward to the weekend. We have improved our BMW M 1000 RR a lot and at Navarra, we struggled more with the high temperatures and I think we will not have that at Magny-Cours, so hopefully we have a bit more stable weekend. At Navarra, we made a big step lap-time wise in qualifying. Unfortunately for me it was so tight that I was still tenth, but if you look at the lap times, I made a huge step. We improved the performance there, so that is what we really need at Magny-Cours as well.”
Jonas Folger, Bonovo MGM Racing: “Magny-Cours is a great circuit. We competed as wildcard starters in the French Championship there last year. I am happy that we did that, as it means that I am familiar with the circuit now. It is a very challenging circuit, including a real range of corners. There is a pretty long straight, some slow corners. Sometimes it flows and then you have a bit of stop-and-go – it has a bit of everything. I hope that we make a good start to the weekend, work well with the BMW from the word go and that our race results then build on recent races.”
Magny-Cours Track Facts
- Circuit length: 4.411 km – clockwise
- Corners: 17 – 9 right-handers, 8 left-handers
- Pole position: Right
- Longest straight: Approx. 900 metres (‘Golf’)
- Grip level: Medium
- Track layout: Some sweeping turns, some stop-and-go passages, fast changes of direction
- Strain on brakes: Relatively high
- Amount at full throttle: 32% respectively 31 seconds
- Top speed / lowest speed: 295 km/h / 46 km/h (183 mph / 29 mph)
- Best overtaking opportunity: Turn 5
- Key factors: High speed through the corners, stability, good delay on entry into turns, wide range of performance