WorldSBK bosses will be willing Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark to try and halt the inevitable charge of four-time world champion-elect Jonathan Rea this weekend so the championship has something for the fans in Argentina.
Rea needs to win the opening race in France with Ducati’s Davies in third to wrap up a quartet of on-the-bounce big trophies. The Irishman has seven Magny-Cours podiums to his name – three of which he has stood on the top step.
Davies is still riding injured after he sustained a collarbone injury over the summer break. Putting on a superhuman performance last time out in Portugal to secure two fourth positions, it will be a big battle for him in France. But with the added rest, it won’t be a surprise to see him fighting at the sharp end this weekend.
The 31 year old has three wins in the last four races held here, he will be out to stop Rea taking the title.
Mathematically in with a chance of stopping Rea this weekend, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) could affect his title chances. The young Dutchman has had an impressive second season with his Yamaha team, and heads to a circuit which holds some special memories.
But the only thing on van der Mark’s mind will be securing second position in the world championship standings. Pulling 10 points on Davies in Portugal, he sits 20 points off the runner-up spot, so with consistency in the final three rounds, it might not be so out of reach.
Another title this weekend does seem inevitable, which is good for Rea but not so good for the Argentina round as crowd, such as it will be, already know the championship has been settled… However, Rea was scuppered in Jerez a couple of years ago when Pirelli didn’t include his favoured front tyre in the allocation.