WSB Blog: How many British Champs will be crowned this weekend?
If the Laguna Seca WSB round last week was anything to go by, this weekend’s round of the World Superbike Championship at Magny Cours promises to be a classic.
In WSB, Brit Tom Sykes leads the overall championship standings by 23 points meaning that he can mathematically win the championship and become the first Brit since James Toseland in 2007 to be crowned WSB champ.
While it is mathematically possible, it remains unlikely given the pace that his closet title rival Eugene Laverty is showing in recent races.
The factory Aprilia man has been spurred on by being dropped by Aprilia for 2014 and has won three out of the last four races to move ahead of his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli in the standings.
And it’s not only Laverty that Sykes would have to out score significantly. Guintoli is 24 points off with Italian Marco Melandri 42 points adrift.
While the battle for WSB glory looks more likely to go down to the wire at Jerez on 20th October for the season finale, the World Supersport title has a very high chance of being settled this weekend.
Britain’s Sam Lowes is on the brink of becoming World Champion and needs to score just two points at Magny Cours regardless of what his closet rival Kenan Sofuoglu does.
If he can secure the points he needs he will become the third British rider to win the World Supersport crown following in the footsteps of Cal Crutchlow in 2009 and Chaz Davies in 2011.
In other news the WSB grid has a different look this weekend due to a number of injured riders being replaced. In the Alstare Ducati squad, Carlos Checa’s seat will be filled this weekend by Ducati’s MotoGP test rider Michele Pirro.
In Laguna last week stand in rider Niccolo Canepa gave an insight into the potential of the struggling 1199 Panigale - especially during qualifying and Ducati will hope that Pirro will be prepared to push hard to continue building momentum.
With Leon Camier still recovering from the seven broken bones in his foot sustained at the Istanbul race, he will be replaced this weekend by eight time World Endurance champion Vincent Philippe.
Hard charger Loris Baz is another man that will have to sit out of Magny Cours and unfortunately for the 20 year old – it’s his home race. Baz is still under observation following his back injury sustained at the Nurburgring.
He will be replaced by Spaniard David Salom but hopes to be declared fit in time for the season finale in Jerez.
And if the thought of Lowes and Sykes becoming world champion isn’t enough – don’t forget 22-year-old Brit Tai Woffinden is odds on favourite to become World Speedway champion at the final round in Poland on Saturday night.