Hayden, Van der Mark up for Magny-Cours challenge

Honda World Superbike Team riders Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden have arrived at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France hoping to do well at the penultimate European event of the season this weekend.

In the WSBK rider standing's, Van der Mark lies in fourth place with 203 points and his team-mate is fifth on 195 points.

For Hayden, Magny-Cours is a WSBK circuit where he has never raced before which means he will have to try and get a feel for the track and find the perfect setup to qualify well up the field in Saturday’s Superpole 2.  

In an interview with the official WSBK site, the 35-year-old American said that after doing a one-off MotoGP race he was fully focused on the upcoming weekend’s racing.

“I’m back home to WorldSBK after my one-off ride in MotoGP,” said the Hayden. “Having now raced at Aragon in both WorldSBK and MotoGP this year, I can honestly say that the difference between the two – in terms of lap-times – is not that big at all. 

"Dipping back into MotoGP was definitely an interesting experience, but now it’s time to focus fully on my Championship. I’m looking forward to racing at Magny-Cours and to pick up where we left off at the Lausitzring in the dry, where I had really good pace and consistency. 

"If it’s wet – which the team told me quite regularly happens here – it’s clear we have to re-evaluate the setup and maybe try something different. It’s going to be another learning experience – this being a new track for me – but I’ll do my best, as usual, .” 

Team-mate Van der Mark likes racing at Magny-Cours having finished fourth in the two races last year.

The 23-year-old Dutchman said in an interview that he always likes to race at the French circuit and was hoping to get a podium this weekend.

“After a difficult weekend I'm looking forward to Magny-Cours,” said Van der Mark. “I always like to ride here and I have had some good results in the past, including a double fourth place last year as a rookie in World Superbike. 

"Hopefully we can get back on the podium this weekend, and I feel this could be a good place to do it. Of course, the most important thing is to make sure we can keep fourth place in the championship, though. 

"There are only three rounds left and six individual races, so each result will be crucial for our final position in the standings. I will try as hard as I can, and I'm sure the Fireblade will work really well on this track."