Top French Finale The Aim For Sykes And Baz

October 3, 2012

Race winners in the 2012 SBK season already, Tom Sykes and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team)
each have their own aims at the final round of the SBK seasons, to be held at Loris’s home track
in France

Sykes has scored three wins in 2012 so far, the most recent in race one last time out in Portugal, and he will be aiming for more of the same to try and catch the championship leader Max Biaggi. Tom is in second place overall, 30.5 points behind the Italian rider, with only two points scoring races left.

A maximum of 50 points is available for any rider who wins both Magny-Cours races. For Sykes the pre-event goal is to post the two strongest raceday results possible by finding the best machine set-up for each race, and then see what other developments occur.

In reality Sykes has two main jobs ahead of him on raceday. The first is catching and passing Biaggi on points if things go his way but he also has to keep ahead of third place rider Marco Melandri, who is a narrow eight points behind Tom.

For Baz, who like Sykes has recently re-signed for the 2013 season with the Kawasaki Racing Team, two forthcoming races in his native France are particular highlights. The Silverstone race winner is keen to take his first top five finishes in fully dry conditions this weekend – if the weather co-operates during early October in the centre of France. Baz, still a teenager, is now 12th overall in the rankings, after only joining the series at the fifth round.

Team Pedercini Kawasaki SBK riders David Salom and Alexander Lundh will be looking for their best season results at the final round of the 2012 season, with Salom hoping for ninth or better and Lundh looking for any finish better than 14th.

In the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup Team Pedercini Kawasaki rider Bryan Staring is joined by Leandro Mercado once more. Staring is still in with an outside chance of the title itself, as he is 22 points from the leader and 19 points behind second place. He has won three races on his relatively standard Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R in 2012 and must take another win to be in with any chance of the title this time around. Current MRS Kawasaki Superstock 1000 rider Jeremy Guarnoni has been no stranger to podium finishes this year and a final top three at his home race would be a pleasing finish for the young French rider.

Tom Sykes: “I am looking forward to getting back on my ZX-10R. I am excited to go to Magny Cours as it is a race that has shown some potential for us in the past and the way we have the bike working now is good. I am looking to go there and do our usual thing. Honestly, I am also looking for a little bit of luck. I am second in the championship, 30.5 points from the leader, so we need a certain aspect of luck to help us out. But, ultimately, it can happen. It happened to me in race two last week and in the last four races for Melandri. So I hope that we can put in two strong races and come out one place better. We are second in the championship and if I had been offered that at the beginning of the year, I am sure myself and the whole team would have accepted it. We are here now and we know what we can achieve. No matter what, if we finish top three we will have had a very, very good year. We are still mathematically able to win the championship so I think we should try to do something about it. Other people have made mistakes but at the end of the day everyone has had the same opportunities as us. To be lying second is a good achievement. It is where we really are. We have learned a lot this year and we have had to work hard at some events just because we are still learning. We have come from a long way back, have been winning races and challenging for race wins and I am sure next year we will be even stronger.”

Loris Baz: “Racing in France in front of the French fans is always very cool. But on track we will be trying to do the same as at every round. I hope to score a top five in the dry and if it is dry it will be better for us. I like Magny-Cours, it is a very nice track, and I did the Bol D’Or there. I won the Superstock 600 Championship there and I have some good memories, so I hope to have another good memory. I just want to find a good set-up on Friday, work towards the race. We were not so far from the top five in Portimao so we are getting there. A few races ago a top seven in the dry was a little dream, but now we have done that two times.