Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com
Max Biaggi may have already clinched the World Superbike Championship, but don’t expect him to just sit back and relax this weekend in Magny Cours France. Biaggi is still fighting for the manufacturer’s title, which Aprilia currently leads with 41 points over Ducati, and will be looking to finish the World Superbike Season with a couple of victories.
Leon Haslam is another rider who will be giving it his all this weekend. Haslam is no longer in contention for the World Superbike title, and his second place position is not being threatened this weekend. But Haslam has something more important to fight for, pride.
“Obviously I am disappointed how things turned out last weekend, but that has gone now and I prefer to focus on Magny-Cours and beating Max,” Haslam said. “I’ve only had two rounds this year where I have missed out on a podium and that’s something I don’t want to repeat at Magny. At the moment, I lead Max by 14 podiums to 13 and my aim is to still be ahead of him on Sunday night.”
Haslam has just signed a contract with BMW for the 2011 World Superbike season, so this will be his last race aboard a Suzuki, and he will be aiming to show his worth at Magny Cours.
Jonathan Rea, who was sitting pretty in third place until the Imola round, now only holds onto the last spot on the podium by just 14 points. Rea was injured at Imola and missed both races. A fantastic weekend put in by Carlos Checa puts the pressure on Rea to have a good weekend in France, but he may not be healthy enough to compete.
“We’re going to see how things go and make a decision on Friday about riding at Magny-Cours,” Rea said.
The rest of the MotoGP paddock will all be aiming to end their seasons on high notes. Cal Crutchlow and Noriyuki Haga will continue their fierce battle for 5th place. James Toseland will be looking for redemption after two DNF’s in Italy, and Michel Fabrizio will be looking to make the final race of the World Superbike Season a memorable one for Ducati.
“I want to collect as many points as possible this weekend, to see if I can improve my overall final result,” Fabrizio said. “I was sorry not to have done better at Imola and now I need to score two great results in France for my team. I still can’t believe that this will be the final weekend for the Ducati factory team. We’re all very emotional.”