WorldSBK 2023
Round 9

Team HRC back to business in France

fr Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours

Refreshed after a brief break, Team HRC is now on site at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France, where round nine of the 2023 Superbike World Championship is scheduled to take place this weekend.

Team HRC back to business in France

Although there has been no Superbike race action for close to six weeks, factory riders Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona have both kept busy. Xavi competed in – and won – the Suzuka 8 Hours as part of a three-rider team, while Iker raced in the British, Austrian and Catalan MotoGP rounds as a substitute rider. The pair were also on track at Motorland Aragón last week where they completed a constructive two-day WorldSBK test. Having done their best to recharge the batteries, the Team HRC duo has continued to train so as to be well prepared for the final rounds of the SBK season.

The 2022 French WorldSBK round proved complicated for both Lecuona and Vierge, who were competing at Magny-Cours for the first time and had to deal, variously, with unstable weather and crashes. Now, with more experience and important data collected during last year’s event, Team HRC is confident that it will be able to do more on French soil.

Originally known as Circuit Jean Behra, the track was inaugurated in 1960 and staged its first racing event in 1961. Developed and restyled as the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in 1988, the facility has since hosted both F1 and the Bol D’or. The track has long been a fixture on the Superbike calendar too, having regularly staged the production-derived championship since 2003. The circuit underwent extensive restructuring work in 2014. Measuring 4.411 kilometres in length, the track incorporates seventeen turns and runs in a clockwise direction. It is located close to the towns of Magny-Cours and Nevers in the Burgundy region of France.

Weekend schedule (CET):


10.30 – 11.15 – SBK Free Practice 1

15.00 – 15.45 – SBK Free Practice 2


9.00 – 9.30 – SBK Free Practice 3

11.10 – 11.25 – Superpole

14.00 – SBK Race 1


9.00 – 9.15 – SBK Warm-up

11.00 – Superpole race

15.15 – SBK Race 2

Xavi Vierge
Xavi Vierge 97
Team HRC
This is our second visit to Magny-Cours, a track that was new to me last year. From my experience last season, I can say that I like the track and we also have a lot of data now, which is particularly important in this case because the weather can be tricky and very changeable, so it’s crucial to be ready for every situation. Last year Pirelli brought new tyres to this round, which means that the choice is clear as we head into the weekend this time around. So we are at something of an advantage with respect to last season and I’m really looking forward to racing there again.

Iker Lecuona
Iker Lecuona 7
Team HRC
I cannot say I love the Magny-Cours circuit and we struggled last year, so it’s possible it will be a challenging one for us but let’s wait and see when we get there. A track is a track at the end of the day, and if we can work well right from Friday and start the weekend on the right foot, I’m sure I will enjoy it more than I did last year. I’ve had a busy time of it lately and haven’t had much time off over the summer, but we will try to use that as an advantage because the more time you spend on the bike, whether testing or racing, the more you learn and keep improving as a rider too. So I’m heading out on track with an open mind – let’s see what we can achieve.

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