Misano MotoGP and Magny Cours WSBK All on One Page
"This weekend was pretty damn good" --Gerloff
These just in from Misano & Magny Cours MotoGP

Pole position, Tissot Sprint win and a Sunday race victory. Jorge Martin’s (Prima Pramac Racing) weekend at the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini couldn’t have gone any better as the Spaniard made no mistakes to take maximum points on his title rivals' stomping ground. The winning margin over second place Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) was just 1.3s as Bez homed in though, with reigning World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) fighting through the pain to claim an important third. And Pecco was only just ahead of some familiar company at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli: wildcard Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).

Martin untouchable again as Pecco fends off Pedrosa
Just like he did in the Tissot Sprint, Martin got a perfect launch and pocketed the holeshot as Bezzecchi and Bagnaia slotted in behind. Pedrosa got away well again and was up to P4, and the MotoGP™ Legend held on after a moment between Turn 1 and 2 looking for a way through on Bagnaia. But Bagnaia then picked his way past Bezzecchi at Turn 3 as the #1 immediately began to hound Martin.

Unlike yesterday, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) made good progress off the start and at the beginning of Lap 2, the South African was up to P4 and began to chase Martin, Bagnaia and Bezzecchi.

A fascinating early race fight was unfolding at the front. Martin, Bagnaia and Bezzecchi were locked together, with Binder 0.7s adrift heading onto Lap 5. On Lap 6, Bezzecchi passed Pecco for P6 down at Turn 8 but just like he did a lap previous, the Italian was wide at Turn 10 to allow the Champion back through. That gave Martin a little bit of breathing room – if you can call 0.3s that – as Binder went quicker than the trio in front of him.

Disaster then struck for Binder at Turn 14 on Lap 8. The KTM star was down at the tight right-hand hairpin as his podium hopes ended, handing Pedrosa the lead KTM baton. The #26 was 1.5s off the leaders, as KTM’s afternoon then got worse as Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) crashed out of contention after being involved in an incident with Michele Pirro (Aruba.it Racing).

Elsewhere, on Lap 12 of 27, it was time to cue the jaws music. Who for? Pedrosa. The wildcard was beginning to close at a vast rate of knots and with 15 laps left, Pedrosa was just 0.6s off Bezzecchi’s rear wheel. Unbelievable. The Little Samurai was the only rider lapping in the 1:31s at this stage of the race.

Pedrosa’s pace dropped off soon after but the gap remained at just over a second. At the front, with 10 laps to go, Martin’s lead grew to over a second for the first time as the #89 began to get the hammer down. Were the injuries to Bagnaia and Bezzecchi starting to take their toll or was Martin’s pace just too good? Bezzecchi was looking impatient behind VR46 compatriot Bagnaia, and a move came at Turn 8. By now though, Martin’s advantage was 2.2s.

Bagnaia was fading. Pedrosa was coming. 0.7s split the double World Champion from the three-time World Champion, with Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) and an extremely classy ride for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) putting him a further four seconds back after initially closing on the number 12. A huge six laps beckoned, could Bagnaia hold on to what would be a very valuable and hard-earned 16 points?

With four laps to go, Bagnaia was holding Pedrosa at bay by 0.6s. Bezzecchi was now under two seconds away from Martin but it was too little too late, with the latter controlling his advantage nicely as he powered towards completing the perfect weekend.

With two to go, Pedrosa was right on Bagnaia’s coattails. Catching the Ducati rider was one thing but as he found out in the Sprint, passing was a whole different kettle of fish. In the end, Bagnaia did hold on to a crucial P3 as Martin made no mistake to cap off a sensational weekend. Bezzecchi bagged P2 despite his injured hand to gain ground in the title chase.

The points scorers in Misano
Just off the podium of Martin, Bezzecchi and Bagnaia, Pedrosa took the chequered flag just 0.6s away from the rostrum as the Little Samurai again demonstrates why he’s a three-time World Champion and a MotoGP™ Legend. Unreal from the popular Spaniard, who finished six seconds up the road from fifth place Viñales.

Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) was sixth ahead of Marc Marquez, who somehow bags a brilliant P7 after racing with a soft rear tyre. Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) takes home his best MotoGP™ finish in P8, as the Ducatis of Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) complete the top 10.

Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), Catalan GP winner Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), a recovering Binder and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) closed out the points in San Marino.

Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) and Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) joined Miller and Pirro as the riders to notch up DNFs.

36 points in it heading to India!
A brand-new challenge awaits us next time out as India hosts MotoGP™ for the very first time. Martin’s perfect weekend sees the gap between him and Championship leader Pecco sit at 36 points as the flyaway tour of the season begins... for the first time in some time, it's back below the 37 points on offer in one weekend. Don't miss it!

Pedrosa close to the glare of MotoGP™ silverware with impressive 4th place in San Marino
MotoGP 2023 - Round 12 of 20, Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, San Marino – Race

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s three-pronged attack on the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini resulted in Dani Pedrosa playing another starring role as he steered the KTM RC16 to the top four after 27 hot and hectic laps at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Brad Binder recovered from an early crash to finish 14th but Jack Miller did not make it to the flag. Red Bull KTM Ajo toasted another Pedro Acosta Moto2™ win.

Dani Pedrosa shines on his fourth wildcard appearance in Red Bull KTM colors since 2018 and the second in 2023 with 4th position in San Marino; three slots higher than his outing in Jerez.
Brad Binder recovers two points after flying back from the rear of the field due to an unfortunate early tumble at Misano. The South African had been chasing a possible podium place.
Jack Miller improves his feeling and competitiveness from Saturday to Sunday but is luckless to be punted out of the Grand Prix by another rider at mid-race distance.
Deniz Öncü makes the podium with 3rd in Moto3™ while Pedro Acosta rides to a fifth Moto2 victory of the season and ninth rostrum appearance of 2023 so far.

The shallow grassy banks of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli filled with 79,000 spectators on Sunday for the twelfth round of MotoGP and the second Grand Prix weekend rush in a row. Red Bull KTM watched Dani Pedrosa join the action with the latest race-spec version of the KTM RC16 and improve on his performance from his previous wildcard appearance in Jerez (6th in the Sprint, 7th in the race) by running at the top of the time sheets on Friday and sealing 4th position on Saturday.

Sunday’s 27-lap main event was held in sunny conditions and near 30-degree temperatures as decent summer weather continued to bathe Misano on Italy’s northeast coast. Pedrosa, Brad Binder and Jack Miller began the race from 5th, 7th and 18th respectively on the grid and both Pedrosa and Binder were quickly into the top five around the grippy, 16-corner layout. Miller concentrated on making progress from the sixth row.

Binder was charging hard in 4th and narrowing the gap to the three-rider fight for the podium when he lost traction and crashed in Turn 14 during the early stages. He was able to remount and reach the flag in 14th for two points. A lap later Miller was hit out at Turn 4.

Pedrosa was in the top five from the off. With the slip by Brad, Dani was able to gain ground to the leaders. He launched a sustained bid to snatch a first rostrum result in six years and for the seventh time at Misano. He came close to passing world champion Francesco Bagnaia and the gap was only half a second at the finish line.

The world championship standings hold Brad Binder in 4th with 173 points and needing 45 more to breach the top three. Miller is 10th and Pedrosa has accrued enough to sit 18th in the table of 29 riders. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing is the 5th best team currently and KTM are 2nd in the Constructors’ listing.

The first ever Indian Grand Prix, taking place at the Buddh International Circuit, will occur on September 23rd-24th.

Dani Pedrosa, 4th: “I had a few problems in the first laps because the rear tire wasn’t heating up quick enough for me, especially on the left side and I had a few scares. I had to be patient and started to build the rhythm after three-four laps. After Brad crashed I saw the group ahead was not getting away from me, so I thought ‘let’s give everything and try to catch them’. When I was very close I had another ‘moment’ and nearly went flying. The gap grew and shrunk until Pecco was struggling on the last laps. I had another go because the bike was working really well. Overall, close to the podium again but I want to thank the team for all their work. I’m happy. It was great to be here and to have the opportunity to go for the podium. I don’t think I’ve been quite so pleased with a 4th place! Our work yesterday and today has helped us to learn a lot and to continue improving.”

Brad Binder, 14th: “To be honest in both races we have been fast. Yesterday I had an issue at the start and was able to catch-up, which was really good. Then today I improved and was feeling great but it looks like I had a little bit more [lean] angle in Turn 14 and it was enough to lose the front. After that it was a very long 20 laps with some of the aero gone. There are positives to take from today but sorry to the guys in my team for losing a good opportunity.”

Jack Miller, DNF: “I got a semi-decent start and was doing my best to stick with the group in front. I felt like my pace was getting better and better as the race went on but then I was sucker-punched. I couldn’t do too much about it. The test tomorrow should be an important day for us and has come at a good time. I will be happy to spend more time on the bike to understand some things and get some confidence back.”

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “Two crashes was a little bit too much for us today. Jack was involved in a multi-rider crash and he didn’t deserve it but that can happen. We need to work to help him and that will be the plan tomorrow. Brad was on a mission and had a better start compared to yesterday. He was trying to manage the situation and suddenly went down. Even without the side pod his pace to come back was pretty good and he could salvage some points. We didn’t have much luck. We are confident, and we know our potential and it wasn’t what we showed today. We won’t give up and seeing Dani in this shape gives us a boost for the future with the new parts. We have a high level of curiosity for what our factory riders will say tomorrow.”


Bagnaia crowns a perfect weekend for Ducati by taking his "Giallo Ducati" Desmosedici GP on the third step of the rostrum in the home GP at Misano

It's another Ducati podium lockout, with Martín (Pramac Racing Team) first and Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing Team) second

Francesco Bagnaia produced another heroic performance today to take the final podium place in round 12 of the MotoGP World Championship, the GP of San Marino and the Riviera di Rimini, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

On another triumphant day for Ducati, which achieved a 1-2-3 podium, Pecco finished third in the 27-lap race behind the winner Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), who led from lights to flag, and runner-up Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing). The championship leader leaves Misano with an advantage of 36 and 65 points over these two rivals in the title race.

Sporting a special Ducati Yellow livery on his leathers and Desmosedici GP23 machine, a tribute to Ducati's racing heritage, Bagnaia got the jump on Bezzecchi at the start and looked comfortable in second behind Martin for the first 18 laps, the top 3 lapping consistently in around 1m32. In the final third of the race, Bagnaia suffered a drop and had to give way to Bezzecchi at Quercia on lap 19, and then spent the remaining laps until the chequered flag holding off the attacks from Pedrosa (KTM).

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd
"It was a tough weekend, but we succeeded in achieving our goal, which was to finish in the top-5 in both races. One week ago, we were struggling, and it was difficult to consider a race weekend like this, so this was the maximum we could do. I tried to stay with Martin for as long as possible, but my leg, the fact that I was riding only with my arms and the front tyre pressure didn't allow me to do it. When it started to be too difficult, I had to leave a bit of a gap to Bezzecchi, and I just tried to breathe a bit and have a bonus of performance in the last two or three laps so as not to give a chance to Pedrosa to overtake me. But I'm incredibly happy and proud of the work we did, and I only lost 14 points instead of a possible 37. Now we go to India for a race where physically I will be in better shape, and we will try and score more points for the championship."

After tomorrow's scheduled Misano test, in which Bagnaia is not expected to take part, the MotoGP World Championship heads away from Europe for a run of six overseas events starting with the Grand Prix of India at the Buddh International Circuit, scheduled for the weekend of 23/24 September.


Points Scores for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Riders in Scorching San Marino GP

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 10th September 2023


Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli pushed until the very end of the 27-lap Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini MotoGP Race. They ultimately secured 13th and 15th place respectively.





The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates worked hard in the high temperatures at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today. The duo showed grit in the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini MotoGP Race and finished it in 13th and 15th place respectively.

Quartararo started the Race from P13. He wrestled himself temporarily into 12th place on the crowded opening lap but was back in 14th by lap 3. He found himself in a similar situation as yesterday, where he was able to easily match the pace of the riders ahead but was unable to find a way through. However, with Brad Binder crashing in Turn 14 a few laps later, the Frenchman did gain a position. The Yamaha rider rode in 13th place for the majority of the race. He put pressure on Aleix Espargaró at the very end but came just short. He finished in 13th place, just 0.020s behind the Spaniard and 15.898s from the race winner.

Morbidelli had a good start in the Race and rode from P19 on the grid to P17 at the end of the first lap. As Binder and later also Michele Pirro and Jack Miller crashed ahead of him, he moved up to 14th. It was mostly a lonely ride until the final six laps when Binder had caught up with the Italian, bringing Augusto Fernandez with him. Morbido lost a place to Binder, but he continued to put up a fight to hold on to a point-scoring position. He kept Augusto Fernandez at bay and took 15th place, 24.579s from first.

Today‘s results see Quartararo remain in 11th in the overall standings with 85 points. Morbidelli likewise is still in 12th place now with 68 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team keep their 6th place in the team championship with 153 points, and Yamaha are joint 4th in the constructor‘s championship with 105 points.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP will be back in action in at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli tomorrow for the one-day Official MotoGP Misano Test.

Team Director

It was a difficult weekend. Our pace was not so bad, but both Fabio and Franky were not able to overtake and defend their position the way they wanted to. They got some championship points today, but we are not where we want to be in the race results and in the overall standings, so tomorrow‘s test will be very important for us. We brought some new things to try, and we will use today‘s data as a comparison. The whole team is motivated to roll up their sleeves and find improvements that we will hopefully benefit from this season as well as in 2024.


It was more of the same, but I feel like I was riding a little bit better today. I was fast with our bike. We have been able to maintain a good pace, but when we are behind someone, it‘s difficult to overtake. Four laps to the end, I decided to ’cut‘ on the straight: I created a gap of 1s to the riders ahead to see what our pace is like. Basically, in one lap I was already on the back of them again, so it was great to see that we are fast with our bike. But we need to make some big steps in tomorrow‘s test and leave with a better feeling.


It was a very tough race. I didn‘t have the performance I was expecting from the tyres. Moreover, the front pressure got very high, and I lost some performance. But, anyway, we couldn‘t do the maximum. I think the maximum would have been to be with the group in front of me, but I was starting from a bit too far behind, and I lost a bit too much time overtaking, so I lost contact. I rode a lonely race. I just met Brad at the end. But I‘m happy because I gave my 100%.

Repsol Honda

Marquez continues upward trajectory with best result of 2023

A ‘perfect race’ for Marc Marquez on his way to a hard fought seventh and a return to the top ten ahead of an important Monday Test. Joan Mir focuses on the positives after a fall ends his race early.

The weekend of progress continued inside the Repsol Honda Team garage as the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini reached its climax with the 27-lap Grand Prix on Sunday. As the track temperature crept above 40°C, the MotoGP field set their sights on the challenge ahead.

From ninth on the grid, Marc Marquez made another flying start to establish himself well inside the top ten. By lap nine, he had moved himself up to sixth place where he would sit for the majority of the race as he stalked Maverick Viñales. Only in the final laps would the eight-time MotoGP World Champion be challenged, first by Miguel Oliveira and then by Raul Fernandez and Luca Marini – Marquez fending off the latter two in a fierce final lap battle.

The result is another step in the upward trajectory of Marquez and Honda’s results in recent rounds, the #93 now having taken points in three consecutive races and earning a first top-ten of the year. All involved remain unsatisfied with these results however as the Repsol Honda Team strive to return to challenging at the front of the MotoGP World Championship. Monday’s test will be another important step in this journey with the final in-season MotoGP test taking place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Joan Mir will also be aiming to make the most of Monday’s running after failing to finish the Grand Prix. The #36 had already been forced to take avoiding action earlier in the race as Pirro and Miller clashed ahead of him, losing the ground he had gained and he ultimatley slipped off at Turn 4. Despite the lack of results, Mir was pleased with the steps he and the team have made over the course of the weekend to improve his feeling on the Honda RC213V machine.

Both Repsol Honda Team riders will be back on track for Monday’s MotoGP test, a chance to sample what Honda HRC engineers have been working on away from the track.

Marc Marquez

“For me, this was the best race of the year alongside Le Mans. It’s my best Sunday of the season, I took the maximum that was available and passed our target. Our rhythm was very good until the soft rear option dropped a little bit at the end – but this is normal. In the end I was able to have some good battles with the Aprilia riders and Marini. The objective is to keep this going in the coming races. Before that we have an important test for the future, a first taste of what 2024 could hold. I’m looking forward to seeing how the bike will be with my riding style and then beginning to work with the engineers.

Joan Mir

“I wasn’t able to make a great start to the race honestly, but I was able to overtake more riders than yesterday so there was an improvement in that area. When Pirro and Miller crashed, I had to avoid them and lost some more time here as well as the positions I had gained. Then the next lap, I crashed in that same corner. Again, we are focusing on the positive points and the fact that we made some steps. Tomorrow we switch into our 2024 mindset and start working on the future.”


WSBK Press

In Race 2 at Magny-Cours, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) secured victory to leave France with a 57-point advantage over Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK).

Bautista started Race 2 strong, quickly taking the lead. However, Rea and Razgatlioglu were prompt to challenge him. Rea made a move at Turn 5 but couldn't overtake Bautista, and while the Ducati rider gradually increased his lead, the race was interrupted on Lap 5. The red flag was waved following an incident involving Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), with Aegerter declared unfit for racing due to a suspected concussion. The restart saw Bautista retain his lead, while Razgatlioglu eventually secured second place after a tense battle with Rea. Bautista maintained his lead until the end, winning by a six-second margin.

Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) fought his way to fourth place in his 100th race, with Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) taking fifth ahead of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing). Among the French riders, Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) finished in 12th place, while Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) faced technical issues and could not restart the race.

Alvaro Bautista regained his form to seize his 19th win of the season in Race 2 at Magny-Cours.
P1 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati

"For sure, I’m so happy to end the weekend like this, especially because I was ill on Friday and I was recovering during the weekend. Yesterday I felt better but today I felt almost 100%. In Race 2, with these conditions, it was difficult but it was similar to yesterday’s so I already knew the feeling with the bike. I tried to do a good start, and I had good feeling and pace. And after 5 laps, the race was stopped and it was difficult because in that moment I was riding really well. I tried to stay focused in the box. The second start, I felt well too and I could push from the beginning as well. At the end, I was alone but I kept pushing because I enjoyed riding like this. I’m happy overall with the weekend.”


Magny-Cours Superpole Race Victory for Razgatlıoğlu with Scintillating Race 2 Second

Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu doubled up in spectacular fashion for a second race victory this weekend in the 10-lap Superpole Race at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France, followed by second place in Race 2 later today. Teammate Andrea Locatelli fought hard to deliver two fourth-place finishes, putting Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK 32 points clear in the lead of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship Teams’ Championship.

Scorching temperatures continued in the late summer heatwave today, with the mercury topping 34 degrees Celsius and more than 51 on the asphalt this afternoon.

Track action was equally hot, with an intense battle for the win in the Superpole Race as Razgatlıoğlu made an aggressive start from P4 on the grid to go with the two red bikes of Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati). The #54 rider was all over the back of the pair and managed a “two-for-one” manoeuvre to take the lead – signalling the start of the three-way battle. On Lap 5, Razgatlıoğlu out-braked both riders to take the lead once again, before Bautista removed his own teammate from contention at Turn 5. Razgatlıoğlu was then free to manage the pace and collect his second race win of the weekend.

Race 2 was a more protracted affair – after Razgatlıoğlu started from pole position, a red flag on Lap 5 forced a full restart and saw the race distance reduced to 17 laps. When the #54 rider restarted from third on the grid, he was unable to follow eventual Race 2 winner Bautista in the hot conditions but treated French fans to another classic WorldSBK fight as he traded positions with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) right until the end, sealing P2 and his fastest lap of the race on the final tour.

“Loka” pushed hard to recover from P7 on the grid in the Superpole Race to finish fourth, giving it his all and setting his own best personal time on Lap 10 in attempt to close down Rea for the podium. A difficult start in Race 2 put him on the back foot in P6 for the restart, however, the young Italian dug deep and worked his way through to a strong fourth place again by the final chequered flag of the weekend.

With the French Round concluded, just three venues (and nine races) remain in the 2023 WorldSBK calendar – Aragon, Spain in just over a week, followed immediately by a trip to Portimão in Portugal and the season finale at the end of October in Jerez (Spain).

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P1 / Race 2: P2

“Normally in the second race I am expecting Alvaro to come through, because in hot conditions he is a very strong rider – especially this track and with the Ducati acceleration. But in general, he did a very good job – pace is very strong. I tried to follow him but after two laps it was not possible – I was fighting with Johnny, then after I just try to follow him for the last five laps because he is very strong. For Race 2, we tried a different set-up but my R1 was not so easy. I enjoyed fighting with Johnny, I am enjoying fighting with the legend but I need the P2! Last lap, I tried more than 100% to get it. For me, it was a really good weekend after five weeks’ break, two wins and one second position – thanks to my team for a good job in every session. I am just thinking race by race, fight for good position and we will see.”

Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P4 / Race 2: P4

“I’m very happy, especially about Race 2 – fortunately after restarted the race, I was feeling much better on the bike and could push right until the end and I finished in P4. For me, we had really good results here in Magny-Cours made a really big improvement – also compared to Most. So let’s see what happens in the next rounds! But for sure, it is a good end to this weekend with a good feeling and a good step forward, so I am really excited to go to Aragon now. In the Superpole Race, we were close to the podium but lost a little bit in the first four or five laps – I recovered a lot under braking compared to Jonathan, but I lost a little bit on the exit of the corner so it was difficult for me to overtake! We need to be happy, we brought home really good results – also for the championship and we will see what happens in the next races.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“It’s been a great weekend’s work by Toprak, Loka and the whole team in unusually difficult conditions! Loka rode a brilliant Superpole Race, challenging Jonathan for the podium on the very last lap – and backed that up, after an uncertain start, with another really strong ride to secure his second P4 of the day in Race 2. This hasn’t been his strongest circuit in the past, so it’s another sign that his confidence is building. Magny-Cours certainly is one of Toprak’s favourite hunting grounds though, and two victories plus a very enjoyable fight with Rea in Race 2 rounded off the weekend nicely. Thanks to the whole team and all of our partners, we’ll keep pushing right until the end of the season because it’s not over yet.”

WSBK Honda

Good teamwork and solid results for Team HRC on Sunday at Magny Cours

The ninth round of the 2023 Superbike World Championship has now concluded for Team HRC at the Nevers Magny-Cours circuit in France, with rider Xavi Vierge placing ninth in today’s races and Iker Lecuona eleventh in Race 2.

After a constructive warm-up, the team was ready for the morning’s ten-lap Superpole race. Lining up on the grid in the positions they earned during yesterday’s qualifying, Lecuona got away from fourteenth and Vierge from sixteenth. Xavi made a lightning start, passing a number of riders to move straight into ninth place. The Spaniard’s lap times improved as the race went on, with the rider able to hold ninth all the way to the line and earn a spot three rows further forward on the Race 2 grid.

Iker was unable to gain ground off the line but did his best to maintain contact with the riders immediately ahead. Although the sprint format of the race means that the gaps between riders are quick to open up and very tough to close, Lecuona worked to gradually increase his pace. Thirteenth by mid-race, Iker pushed to pass a rider in the final stages and cross the line twelfth as a result.

The second 21-lap Superbike race ran in particularly hot conditions (air temp. 35°C, track temp. 51°C) and according to schedule, with the lights going out at 3.15pm local time (CEST). Thanks to his result in the morning’s sprint, Vierge lined up in ninth spot on the grid, Lecuona from fifteenth. While Xavi placed eleventh through the opening stages of the race, his team-mate Iker was lying seventeenth. Lecuona suffered a crash on lap four, but the race was simultaneously red-flagged following an incident for two other riders. Quick to react, Iker remounted his bike and pitted, while his team was immediately ready to take care of his bike. Working at lightning speed, the crew was able to get their rider back on his bike and on track for the quick restart procedure in a matter of minutes.

The race was restarted just a short time later and shortened to seventeen laps. Vierge made a strong start and was in seventh through the first corners, with Lecuona lying fifteenth. Demonstrating better pace than the riders immediately ahead of him, Iker progressed to twelfth place by lap seven, while Xavi remained in a group of riders battling for seventh place for the entirety of the race. He finally had to settled for ninth through the very last corner, but it was in any case a positive result, for two top ten finishes in the day’s races. Iker also achieved a solid eleventh place finish after a challenging start to the weekend.

With nine championship rounds now complete, Vierge currently lies tenth in the general standings with 117 points, Lecuona thirteenth with a tally of 94. Next up for Team HRC is round ten of the Superbike World Championship, set to take place over the weekend of 22-24 September at Motorland Aragón in Spain.

Xavi Vierge 97

“Ninth is not the position we want to fight for of course, but after the last few rounds and particularly in light of the big crash I suffered on Friday, we can be happy with today’s double top nine. The team worked really hard between yesterday and today and I can say we made a step forward in terms of setup. In the short race we achieved our goal to remain inside the top nine, not a foregone conclusion when starting from row six, and in the long race I gave it my all to try and score the best possible result. It was a pity I lost eighth place through the final corner, but I really tried my best. I think we learned a lot this weekend, also in terms of how we can work better together and I’m really happy about that. I’m now looking forward to Aragon, another home track and one that should be better for our bike than others, so we will head there in an optimistic mood and with positive expectations.”

Xavi Vierge

Iker Lecuona 7
SPRC P12 RC2 P11

“Today I started the day with a different mentality - to try and do what we can with what we have right now, just focusing on doing the best possible job and improving as much as possible. There is no sense in getting frustrated or upset. So we might say I’ve changed the chip in my head. Though we struggled in the Superpole race, I kept my cool because I realise that it’s not a matter of what we change in the setup, it’s something we need to solve upstream of this. Xavi uses quite different settings and suffers more or less the same problems. In Race 2 I made a less than perfect start and was lying a little way back when I crashed through the last chicane. “Luckily” it happened just seconds before they red-flagged the race, so I was able to pick up the bike and get back to the pits. I must say a big thank you to the team, as they did a really good job of repairing the bike quickly to give me another chance to race. I just wanted to pay them back with a good result. It was challenging at first because it was the first time I was using the SC1 tyre this weekend, but lap by lap, and especially once everyone’s tyres started to drop, I began closing the gap to Xavi’s group. Eleventh is nothing big, but it is what it is and now it’s time for me to go home and rest up for one week after a busy summer so that I’m all set for the next one.”



Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea completed his second triple podium weekend of the 2023 WorldSBK season by taking two third places on the final day of race action at Magny Cours. His team-mate Alex Lowes could not complete the ten-lap Superpole race on the final morning and withdrew from Race Two with a left knee issue.

The opening race on Sunday in France was the Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’ held over ten laps. Rea and Lowes were running just behind the top three battle when the two official Ducati riders touched, and Michael Ruben Rinaldi crashed out.

Jonathan was up to second at that point as Alvaro Bautista had lost his track position but he was unable to catch eventual race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu. Rea would finally finish third as Bautista came back through to second.

Lowes was in a strong position in the Superpole race but was forced out by a physical issue. Alex was also unfit for the Race Two after he felt some ‘clicks’ in his left knee during the Superpole Race.

In the last WorldSBK race of the weekend Rea was in a strong situation in the early laps but Dominique Aegerter was lying in a dangerous position on the track after a collision with another rider. The first attempted Race Two was soon red flagged and then re-run over 17 laps. The riders took their new grid slots from where they finished the red flagged ‘race.’

The fight for podium places between Rea and his old rival Toprak Razgatlioglu was as intense as ever in the restart. Bautista had made a break to take the race win but Rea and Razgatlioglu attacked at every opportunity in their efforts to finish second. Eventually Razgatlioglu would be the runner-up and Rea was a close third.

Three podium places for Rea made Magny Cours his second best weekend of the season and consolidated his grip on third place in the championship. He is now 34 points ahead of fourth placed Andrea Locatelli.

In the championship rankings, Bautista has 467 points, Razgatlioglu 410 and Rea 290. Lowes is eighth with 129 points.

The next round takes place at Motorland Aragon, between 29 September and 1 October.


Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “I am really happy to have taken three podium finishes this weekend. From Friday I felt like I had quite a good rhythm but then we didn’t go in the best direction with the set-up. In Race One and even in the Superpole Race I was happy with the bike set-up but I was not able to really ‘dance.’ In Race Two I felt much better from the get-go. I felt like I could do everything to be with Alvaro but he was just on a different level. In the first start of the final race he was making a lot of mistakes but just keeping the lap time. As soon as he cleaned up his riding style, he was gone. Nothing to do really, so I was quite happy that Toprak wasn’t just coming through on me. I could see on my pitboard that he was there behind me, so I thought that maybe today my pace was OK. In the last few laps I was fighting with him a lot - and enjoying it! Toprak in Magny Cours is really strong so I think it does show that we had a positive trend over the weekend, making the bike better. I could stop it quite well and we had good mechanical traction.”

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “Not much to say. I had been riding well so it is hard to accept. It was not as if I had a crash or anything. We knew very quickly that there was a problem, so I need to get my knee sorted properly and then get myself back to 100% fitness. It should be OK in two weeks. Let’s see if we can make it for the Aragon weekend.”


Bautista dominates Race 2 at Magny-Cours Rinaldi retires a few laps from the end. Triumphant weekend for Bulega in WorldSSP

A dominant victory for Alvaro Bautista in Race 2 for the Pirelli French Round. The Spanish rider won by a wide margin ahead of Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and Rea (Kawasaki) and defended his championship lead. With three rounds to go in the 2023 WorldSBK season, Bautista's lead over Razgatlioglu is 57 points.

Unlucky Sunday for Rinaldi after a good podium in Race 1. In the Superpole Race, the Italian rider was unintentionally hit by his team-mate and crashed, finding himself forced to start Race-2 from eleventh position. The start, however, was extremely convincing: Rinaldi recovered several positions and moved up to fourth place. From three-quarters of the race, however, Rinaldi's pace dropped dramatically as he experienced high difficulty in braking areas, and then he was forced to return to the pits.

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #1)
"It was a really emotional weekend. After the problem I had in Race 1, in the Superpole Race I was unfortunately involved in contact with Michael. I'm very sorry that he crashed but you have to believe me: I couldn't do anything to avoid the contact. Race-2 was really good for me as the feeling was extraordinary from the first to the last lap".

Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #21)
"Despite the fact that today we didn't get the results I was hoping for, I can still say I'm satisfied with this weekend because right from Friday practice we showed we were very fast. In Superpole Race, I was convinced I could fight for the win. Then, after the impact of Alvaro, I found myself on the ground. It was a pity, of course, but these are things that can happen in racing. In Race 2, on the other hand, after a good start, I felt I had some problems with the bike and - I preferred not to risk coming into the pits"


A triumphant weekend for Nicolò Bulega and the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team.
After yesterday's pole position and victory in Race-1, the Italian rider completes a perfect round by dominating Race-2 from the first to the last lap

Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
"I am really very happy. It's a perfect weekend in which the feeling with the bike has been extraordinary. For this, I thank the team who did an excellent job. In these two days, we were the only Ducati to get on the podium and fight with the Yamaha, which demonstrates the quality of the work done. The championship? I don't want to think about it: there are three rounds left and I just want to try to have fun, trying to win as many races as possible. See you at Aragon!".


WorldSBK in Magny-Cours: pole position celebrations combined with mixed feelings at BMW Motorrad Motorsport.

Garrett Gerloff post a new all-time lap record to claim his first pole position, and first with the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team.
Gerloff finishes fourth and fifth in the two main races.
Scott Redding and Loris Baz also in the top seven, difficult weekend for Michael van der Mark.

Magny-Cours. Pole position for the BMW M 1000 RR with new all-time lap record, followed by a great fourth place in the first race. BMW Motorrad factory rider Garrett Gerloff (USA) gave BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team plenty of reasons to celebrate on Saturday at Magny-Cours (FRA). The American racer gave another strong performance on Sunday, finishing fifth in the second main race. The best race result for Scott Redding (GBR) from the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team was seventh place on Saturday. Loris Baz (FRA / Bonovo action BMW Racing Team) followed a good qualifying session by finishing seventh in the Superpole race. The best result for Michael van der Mark (NED / ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was 13th position in qualifying and in the Superpole race. Magny-Cours hosted the ninth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship 2023 (WorldSBK).

Gerloff had already finished second in all three practice sessions, showing just how fast he was at Magny-Cours. In the Superpole on Saturday morning, he then gave another spectacular performance; with a new all-time lap record of 1:35.453 minutes, the American racer claimed his first WorldSBK pole position, and the first for the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team. His team-mate Baz secured sixth place on the grid. Redding was also on track for a top result for the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team on his BMW M 1000 RR, only to slide and fall. He finished tenth, moving up to ninth on the grid due to a penalty for another rider. Van der Mark finished the Superpole in 13th position.

Having started from pole position, Gerloff lost a few positions in the turmoil of the opening corners. However, he remained in the top five and crossed the line in fourth place as the best rider from a team in the Independent standings. That was also Gerloff’s best race result of the season so far. Redding finished the first race in seventh place. Baz stayed in the top six throughout the opening third, but then struggled with various problems and fell back through the field. He finished in 13th position, while van der Mark crossed the finish line in 16th.

The first lap of the Superpole race on Sunday morning featured an unfortunate racing incident as the bikes with Redding and Gerloff at the controls collided. Both riders went down. Gerloff then had to head for the pits and retire, while Redding was able to rejoin the race. He eventually crossed the line in 20th place. Baz finished seventh, securing a good start position for the second main race. Van der Mark finished the Superpole race in 13th position.

In race two on Sunday afternoon, Gerloff finished fifth and was once again the best-placed representative of a team from the Independent standings. The race was interrupted on lap five after an accident involving Redding and Dominique Aegerter (SUI / Yamaha), before restarting for 17 further laps. Baz crossed the line in twelfth place. Redding was able to participate in the restart but then retired due to a technical problem. Van der Mark was also unable to reach the finish after taking a tumble.

The tenth round of the 2023 WorldSBK season will take place in two weeks (22nd to 24th September) at MotorLand Aragón, Spain. BMW Motorrad Motorsport, the four riders and both teams completed two successful days of testing there at the end of August.

Reactions to the Magny-Cours round.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “It all went wonderfully this weekend for Garrett and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team. I was delighted to see that Garrett was finally able to convert his great pace from recent races into positive results. All-time lap record, pole position, a great first race with a fourth-placed finish. In the Superpole race, there was an unfortunate racing accident involving Scott and Garrett. This had a negative impact on our start position for the second main race. Unfortunately, the accident involving Scott and Dominique – we send our very best wishes to him – prompted a red flag. Of course, that throws everything out of kilter. Garrett initially fell back from ninth place at the restart, but then produced some superb lap times at the level of Toprak and Johnny to race back up to fifth. I am very pleased that we were able to show here what potential the bike has. Unfortunately, Mickey was unable to develop a real feel for the bike over the weekend as a whole. He is still working on his comeback after suffering that serious injury. Scott had good pace and was able to show that by finishing seventh in the first race. However, he had a Sunday to forget, with a lot of bad luck. He has to collect himself and go back on the attack at Aragón. Loris qualified well behind Garrett, but he was unable to maintain the pace over the race distance. Overall, I am extremely pleased that we were able to show the podium potential of the bike, and we will build on that in the final three rounds.”

Garrett Gerloff, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 1 / R01: 4 / SP Race: DNF / R02: 5): “This weekend was pretty damn good, and really close to being a dream weekend. At the end, having my first pole position for myself and for the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team and then two top-five finishes is something we can be very happy with. And it was also a weekend we can use to build on for the future. All in all we learned a lot and we can use this for the last three rounds and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Scott Redding, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 10 / R01: 7 / SP Race: 20 / R02: DNF): “Not my best weekend of luck. I felt good with the bike this weekend but I was just a little bit unlucky with a couple of crashes. I don’t ever remember crashing three times in a weekend, so it was quite strange. It think because it was so close with the laps times and to get the results there is really small room for error. Obviously we had a crash in race two before the re-start. The guys did a great job to get the bike ready to start the final race – it was quite damaged. I felt good at the re-start and then I had two long lap penalties to do. For me it was important to do them, but I made a good start and made up positions. Then I started to have some small engine troubles. I think that was from the crashes this weekend, maybe I damaged the engine. It was not a good weekend for us regarding results, but we had the pace and we felt good. So we need to see if we can come back a little bit at Aragón.”

Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 6 / R01: 13 / SP Race: 7 / R02: 12): “It was a tough weekend and not what I have expected. Especially after I wanted to continue in the way of Imola and Most. From last year, I knew the bike was working well here, but we just didn’t find what was needed. We also had some technical issues and also our base set up was not suiting the track really well. We were always a bit behind. We kept trying and tried to use Garretts base, because he was obviously super strong. In qualifying it worked well and it helped me a lot for the Superpole race but we were just not ready for the long race. In races one and two it was actually just about surviving and it’s really difficult to race like this, because the only thing you’re trying is to not make any mistakes and not to crash. So at the end I was just happy to bring the bike home and it was for sure not the weekend we wanted to. But for sure we’re trying again at Aragón. We have three more rounds to go and we’ll do our best to have some good results.”

Michael van der Mark, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 13 / R01: 16 / SP Race: 13 / R02: DNF): “I was really looking forward to the weekend and to being back racing but unfortunately it turned out to be tough days and we never really managed to give me the right feeling for the bike. We worked very hard and tried several set-up options but did not find the right direction to go. We have seen the potential of the BMW M 1000 RR here at Magny-Cours. That makes me confident and the full focus is now on the next round at Aragón. We’ve tested there and we will give everything to have a stronger weekend there.”
— ends —
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