Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
The FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) is at Magny-Cours (FRA) this weekend for round eight of the 2021 season. In Superpole on Saturday morning, Tom Sykes (GBR) from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team finished third to secure another place on the front row of the grid on his BMW M 1000 RR. In the afternoon’s opening race, his team-mate Michael van der Mark (NED) finished fifth, while Sykes crossed the finish line in ninth place. Jonas Folger (GER) from the Bonovo MGM Racing Team came home 16th.
Sykes was once again one of the top riders in Superpole qualifying. The Brit briefly topped the timings, and eventually secured third place and a spot on the front row of the grid with a time of 1:35.919 minutes. Van der Mark, who was unable to take to the track in the morning’s third free practice session due to a technical issue qualified ninth. Folger was 19th in qualifying.
The air temperature rose to 26 degrees Celsius for the start of the race in the afternoon, resulting in a track temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. Starting third, Sykes dropped several positions at the start, while van der Mark climbed into sixth place before falling back to ninth again. On lap three, Sykes went very wide in turn five and slotted back into the field in twelfth place. Meanwhile, van der Mark had improved to seventh and soon took sixth place. The Dutchman remained in that position until lap 17 of 21, when Alex Lowes (GBR / Kawasaki) crashed in front of him, handing van der Mark fifth place – a position he retained through to the finish. Sykes was involved in a number of battles throughout the whole race in a fiercely-competitive group of riders. After 21 laps of racing, he crossed the finish line ninth. Folger initially dropped back at the start, but made some progress through the field in the second half of the race to finish 16th.