Seven down, one to go: the 2018 season of the European Superstock 1000 Championship faces its last stop at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours with three riders still alive in the title hunt. Just like last year it will all come down to the final turns: who will leave France as the new European champion?
Markus Reiterberger (alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW) has led the championship since day one: from Free Practice at MotorLand Aragon to this day, the German has been an unstoppable force in STK1000, leading the standings and showing every weekend the qualities of a true champion. Yet the title is still not his to keep: third place last round at Portimao means that he still needs seven points to secure the title win, one which seemed all but ensured. One single faux pas after an impeccable season, and Reiterberger will be at the expense of what his two main rivals do in France.
At Portimao, Roberto Tamburini (Berclaz Racing) not only won his first STK1000 race in three years, he also kept his title chase alive against all odds. The 27 year old sits 18 points behind his fellow BMW rider in the standings – anything other than first or second would not be enough for Tamburini, and even then he depends on Reiterberger’s performance. Nonetheless, the Italian has hit form at just the right time: do not count him out just yet.
Out of the three title contenders, Maximilian Scheib (Aprilia Racing Team) suffered the most at Portimao, crossing the finish line in fifth position and losing ground with Reiterberger. The Chilean now faces the final round 19 points behind the leader and one behind Tamburini and faces an uphill battle for Magny-Cours. Considering the grit Scheib has shown this season however, expect him to give it his all right until the checkered flag drops.
Several riders will also travel to Magny-Cours with a point to prove, determined to be more than an afterthought to the title race. Federico Sandi (MOTOCORSA Racing), Florian Marino (URBIS Yamaha Motoxracing STK Team) and Alessandro Delbianco (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team) have all managed podium finishes this year and will undoubtedly play an important part in the season’s denouement.
The European Superstock 1000 Championship race kicks off the day’s action at Magny-Cours, as the lights go out at 11.40LT (+1 GMT) and it won’t be one to miss!
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