WSBK

Guintoli and van der Mark Ready For Final WSBK European round

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Pata Honda riders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark are preparing for the final European round of the 2015 World Superbike championship at Magny-Cours in France this weekend (2-4 October).

Van der Mark is in sparkling form having secured the third podium of his rookie WSBK season last time out in race one at Jerez. The 22-year-old Dutch rider looked to be riding his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to at least another third place finish at the Spanish circuit before crashing out of contention in the second race.

The 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit has been good to van der Mark in recent years. It‰Ûªs where he secured the 2012 European Superstock 600 title before progressing to World Supersport the following season. He finished second in last year‰Ûªs race having already won the 2014 championship.

"Jerez was really good for us, not just getting back on the podium but getting much closer to the guys in front." Van der Mark said. "Even in qualifying, we showed that the CBR package has really improved over the season.

"OK, I crashed in race two but I was close to the podium again and I really want to be there again this weekend. The best thing about the Jerez weekend was that we had no problems and I think that if we can continue like this in France then we can hopefully be close again.

"I really like the circuit at Magny-Cours and always enjoy riding there. I‰Ûªve had some good results there, as well, and I‰Ûªve been on the podium three times in the last four years. In Superbike you get two chances on raceday, though, so I‰Ûªm really looking forward to the weekend.

For Sylvain Guintoli, the Magny-Cours event represents a home race, although the 33-year-old French rider lives in the UK. He, too, has enjoyed recent success at the circuit, which is situated in central France, around 260km south of the capital Paris.

"I‰Ûªm really looking forward to this weekend because Magny-Cours has been good to me over the years." Guintoli commented. "I love the track and always get great support there from the fans, who have been building in numbers in the last few years.

"The circuit has done a great job in increasing the crowd so it‰Ûªs turned into a fantastic event in the calendar. I haven‰Ûªt been off the podium there in the last three years so I‰Ûªll be aiming to carry on that form at the weekend.

"The CBR package has improved so much since the start of the year and I was able to be competitive in Sepang. I struggled to find a rhythm in Jerez but Mikey [van der Mark] showed that the bike is strong there, too, and those are two circuits which haven‰Ûªt been great for the CBR in the past. We know we can get there now and it would be great to hit the sweet spot again this weekend and get my first podium for the team.

"I really want to finish the season on a high and this would be a good place to do it!

Guintoli, who started his 150th World Superbike race in the second outing at Jerez, has scored a total of six podium finishes at Magny-Cours, including two wins. All have been achieved in the last three years and the Pata Honda rider is hoping to add to his tally this weekend.

The action starts tomorrow morning with Free Practice 1, building to Sunday‰Ûªs two 21-lap races in the penultimate round of the 2015 World Superbike championship.

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