Podiums Aplenty in Magny-Cours and a Brand-New WorldSBK Champion

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Dosoli Debrief: Podiums Aplenty in Magny-Cours, and a Brand-New Champion

Round nine of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship took place in an unusually hot Magny-Cours, France where the sizzling temperatures were matched only by the thrilling track action. Yamaha riders across the classes enjoyed podiums aplenty, and a new champion was crowned in the R3 bLU cRU European Championship.

Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, commented:
“We enjoyed excellent weather in Magny-Cours, which was a little bit unexpected and unusual. The weekend was always going to be challenging after a long summer break, and the hot conditions made that a bit tougher, but our riders rose to the challenge and achieved some very nice results which we’re proud of.”

Toprak Triumphant, Loka Closes In


Toprak Razgatlıoğlu has long held a love for the French circuit and its hard braking zones, and he was ready to head to the top step. Despite not having the hottest pace in practice and qualifying, he conquered Race 1 in style, and repeated his victory in a fantastic Superpole Race. In the final race of the weekend, he battled it out with Jonathan Rea for second place over the course of the shortened 17-lap contest, making for thrilling action. After this successful weekend Toprak now sits 57 points from the top of the championship standings.


Andrea Locatelli also had a strong weekend in the French sunshine, despite coming into the event suffering from the after-effects of a training crash. The Italian used all his will and determination to collect fourth place in Race 1, before picking up a solid sixth in the Superpole Race. In Race 2 he held off attacks from his rivals to score another fourth spot.

A.D. – “Toprak put in another masterclass performance, a very nice return to action with two wins and a second place. In Race 2 he didn’t feel as comfortable with the bike settings, but he battled hard to secure as many championship points as possible and that was good to see. Andrea also showed great form over the weekend, and if he’d had a slightly better grid position I think he could’ve placed even higher in the races, but overall he did very well.”

GYTR GRT Make Emotional Return to Action


The weekend started with an extremely poignant one minute’s silence for GRT co-founder and sporting director, Mirko Giansanti who lost his life during the summer break. Magny-Cours was always going to be emotional for the team, who have all been deeply affected by Mirko’s loss, but they pulled out all the stops to battle on in his memory. Despite being unfamiliar with the track, Remy Gardner and Dominique Aegerter made positive strides, with the former scoring 15th in Race 1, but improving to 11th in the Superpole Race and eighth in Race 2. “Domi”, who considers the location to be a ‘home race’ due to its proximity to Switzerland and the numerous fans who make the trip to support him, took 11th in Race 1 and a great sixth in the Superpole Race, but was wiped out of Race 2 by another rider and ended his weekend in the medical centre before thankfully being cleared by the doctors.

A.D. – “It was great to see Domi running up the front again, but it was very disappointing for him that he was taken down by another rider in Race 2. He didn’t deserve that after all his efforts. Remy also had a tough time because it was a new circuit for him, but he worked well and it was very promising to see how he improved session by session, and his feeling with the bike is better than ever.”

WorldSSP600 – Debise Delights, Manzi Stays in Contention


Local hero Valentin Debise delighted the passionate French fans and his GMT94 team in equal measure in Magny-Cours when he achieved a front row grid spot followed by third place in Race 1 and a brilliant second place in Race 2. His performance in the second race of the weekend was particularly impressive as he managed to keep the pressure on series leader Nicolò Bulega until the closing stages of the race. Ten Kate Racing’s Stefano Manzi wasn’t feeling 100% physically during the weekend but he managed to grit his teeth and stay in title contention, taking second place in Race 1 and third in Race 2.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta also showed promise during only his second round with the Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team, gaining 10th in Race 1, and battling for the Top 5 in Race 2 before eventually finishing sixth.

A.D. – “It was really nice to see both Stefano and Valentin fighting for the win, so I want to say congratulations to both of them. The home race really boosted Valentin and he was able to secure his first ever WorldSSP podium on Saturday. On Sunday he wanted to ride less conservatively and push to the maximum, and because of this he was able to get second place. Meanwhile, Stefano and his team struggled to gel with the layout of Magny-Cours at first, but practice by practice he was able to improve, and he fought for the win in Race 1. In Race 2 he had high hopes, but he had a minor technical issue which meant he could ‘only’ take third. Anyway, it was a good weekend for the R6 boys.”

WorldSSP300 – Vannucci Suffers, Gennai Reignites the Flame


While Matteo Vannucci performed well and stayed in contention for the WorldSSP300 title in Race 1, gaining sixth place at the line before being demoted to seventh due to a post-race penalty, the young AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha rider suffered an unfortunate crash in Race 2. It was then over to Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) to shine. After three tough rounds in a row, the 20-year-old’s title chances were slipping through his fingers, but in Magny-Cours he put in a valiant display to take second place in Race 2 despite debilitating pain in his back. The Italian now sits 32 points from the top of the table.

A.D. – “It was fantastic to see Mirko Gennai fight back to the podium in Race 2 on Sunday. The last few rounds have been difficult for him with some bad luck and poor results, but he has overcome the mental impact of this and together with his team he has returned to where we know he can be. The title chase remains close in the 300 class, and it will be very interesting to see what Gennai and Vannucci can do in the next races.”

R3 bLU cRU European Championship – Ercolani Crowned in Breathtaking Season Finale


The youngest riders in the WorldSBK paddock stunned onlookers with one of the most dramatic title fights seen for years. Six riders from five different countries were in contention for the crown coming into the French weekend – an impressive feat in itself. In Race 1, four of these contenders found themselves down and out in an early crash. Indonesia’s Aldi Mahendra, who had been sitting second in the standings, was unable to restart due to bike damage, while series leader Emiliano Ercolani and third place in the championship Kevin Fontainha had to start from the back of the grid. Spain’s Marc Vich won the race after some very clever moves, while French favourite Dorian Joulin took second and Shoma Yamane became the first Japanese rider to stand on the R3 podium. After his victory, Vich was now in the hot seat to overthrow Ercolani, despite the Italian fighting up to fourth in Race 1.

In Race 2 Ercolani crashed early in the race, and with 23 points separating himself and Vich, and the Spaniard leading the race, he had a stressful wait to know his fate. Vich eventually slipped to sixth and handed the title to Ercolani, while Mahendra took the final win of the year. Ercolani’s consistency and speed throughout the season were impressive and the young Italian will now move up to the WorldSSP300 class for 2024.

A.D. – “The R3 bLU cRU European Championship season finale was one of the most unpredictable and tense we’ve ever seen across any class in the Superbike World Championship, and we have crowned our first champion of the season. Emiliano Ercolani won last year’s Superfinale and his progression has been extremely impressive. Despite two crashes on race day, he still managed to win the title thanks to his season-long consistency. I would like to congratulate Emiliano but also all the riders and their families, as well as the bLU cRU mechanics and staff for a fantastic season.”


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