With a superb twin win at Magny-Cours, Tom Sykes has never been so close to the title of World Superbike champion.
It was a perfect weekend for the championship leader. Once again the winner of the Superpole, Tom Sykes gave no quarter on the Magny-Cours track. Taking the lead in the two races, the Kawasaki rider won both as he has already done this year at Donington and Imola. “This weekend, my bike was great,” he commented. “I managed to keep a good pace until the finish in both races, which was not the case in Istanbul and Laguna Seca where the lack of grip on the track caused us real problems.” David Salom, replacing Loris Baz, finished eleventh in both races. In Supersport, Kenan had his fifth win of the season without being able to prevent Sam Lowes from taking the title of world champion. Fabien Foret ended the penultimate race of the season in fourth place.
Now with a thirty-seven and thirty-eight point lead over both Aprilia riders in the overall classification, Tom Sykes only needs to score thirteen more points to be sure of winning the world champion title. That means everything will be decided on the Jerez circuit in Spain on October 19. Having had to pull out of four of the events, Loris Baz has dropped back to eighth place overall. The title of World Supersport champion now being decided, Sofuoglu is guaranteed to finish the season in second place. With a seventeen point lead over the Dutch VD Mark, Fabien Foret should finish his last Supersport season in third place.
After fracturing his fourth thoracic vertebra early in September, Loris Baz has been forced to take forty-five days off to recover and was unable to attend the race at Magny-Cours. “This is the first time I’ve had to interrupt a season because of injury,” said the Kawasaki rider. “Given my position in the championship, the team and I agreed to wait until the fracture has fully healed so that I can take part in the final round of the championship in Jerez, and be 100% fit.” Even if Loris Baz has had to put his attempt for the championship title on hold, Ichiro Yoda, the boss of the Kawasaki team, has confirmed the rider will be with them next season. “We signed the deal in Turkey,” smiled the Frenchman. “The results of the season have mainly been positive, since up until I was injured I achieved most of the goals I set myself at the beginning of the year. I improved in each race, I fought for fifth place in the championship, and I’m on the podium… In Germany, before the fall during the warm-up which was the result of a technical problem, I even had my best weekend of the season.” In the opinion of Adrien Morillas with whom he starred in the Superstock category, Loris Baz should be able to vie for a place on the championship podium in 2014.