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Jun 8, 2012

BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent Qualifies On Pole Position For 8 Hours Of Doha

BMW Motorrad France Team Theven (99).
BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent on pole position at Doha

In front of Monster Energy Yamaha YART and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team

On Friday evening, the BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent positioned themselves ahead of their adversaries as from the first qualifying session. Sébastien Gimbert, Damian Cudlin and Erwan Nigon were the quickest on the Losail circuit during the first qualifying session, with only Gimbert and Nigon having set a time in the 2'00 mark. Nicolas Dussauge explain, Coordinator of the team explained: 'We set out to obtain our qualification time during the first practice session; now we work on our race set-up'.

So the Official BMW Team starts ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha YART, they having chosen a different strategy and used their qualifying tyres during the cooler second practice session. Noriyuki Haga confirmed the YART plan by setting his best time in his second practice session and obtained the best overall individual lap time, with 2'00.560.

Haga's effort allowed him, together with Igor German and Gwen Giabbani, to take second position on the grid and ahead of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team with Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Yukio Kagayama, in third position, themselves in front of Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube with David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive. The Swiss Kawasaki Bolliger Team complete the top five on the starting grid.

Racing on their home circuit, the Qatar Endurance Racing Team obtained the best result in the Superstock category with a 'mixed' but very harmonious team with riders Nasser Al Malki, Anthony West et Nina Prinz, ahead of the Suzuki of AM Moto Racing Compétition who regained their level of performance. Rather deceptive was the Honda TT Legends Team result. Russell Benny, Team Coordinator explained that there had been a good reason for Ryuichi Kiyonari's wife gave birth during the second qualifying session, so racing was not in his mind.

The second qualifying session was stopped due to a technical incident. As a result, the results of the second practice session for the second riders were cancelled. The warm-up is rescheduled and will start at 13h00, at the teams' request. The start of the 8 Hours of Doha with the traditional 'Le Mans' line-up will be given at 17h00, approximately one hour before the sunset.

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad France Team Theven:

Doha, Qatar - 9 June 2012: Erwan Nigon will start tomorrow's 8 Hours of Doha, the second round of the 2012 Endurance World Championship, from pole position after BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent dominated both practice and qualifying in Qatar.

Nigon, Sébastien Gimbert and Damian Cudlin all posted lap times in the 2'01s bracket during free practice on Thursday, but it was Nigon who set the fastest lap, hustling the #99 BMW S1000RR around the Losail International Circuit in a time of 2'01.161 to secure the top spot on the timesheet.

The BMW trio continued this form into Friday's first qualifying practice, with Gimbert and Nigon the only riders to break into the 2'00s bracket during the first qualifying period, securing provisional pole for BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent.

The final qualifying practice, held at night, saw the BMW trio once again top the timesheet, completing their domination of practice and qualifying and securing the team their first pole position of the 2012 season, and the third in a row at the Losail International Circuit.

Tomorrow's race gets underway at 17.00 local time (16.00 CET), avoiding the worst of the extremes of temperature, which the riders have had to contend with during free practice and qualifying. The three BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent riders go into tomorrow's race determined to secure their first victory of the 2012 season and get their championship campaign back on track.

Sébastien Gimbert:
"I'm still a bit battered and bruised from crashing in the last French Superbike round at Le Vigeant, which means I'm not feeling 100 percent comfortable on the bike, but my determination to win remains the same. For three years we've started this race on pole, but on the previous two occasions bad luck has robbed us of victory. This time I hope it's a case of third time lucky, because if we can avoid any problems then we certainly have the pace to win here. And that's the aim tomorrow; to win."

Damian Cudlin:
"After the disappointment of the Bol d'Or we came here to Qatar to win, and to get our championship campaign back on track. I'm really pleased with our overall pace so far and I'm feeling pretty confident for the race. On paper we have been the strongest team here this weekend, so the potential is there, now it's up to us to realise this potential and win tomorrow."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"This is the third successive season we've started from pole position in Qatar, but this time I hope we can convert it into a race win after bad luck in the previous two years. Sébastien, Erwan and Damian have been dominant throughout practice and qualifying, setting fast times and doing so consistently. It means we're in a strong position for tomorrow's race, in which we need to finish on the podium if we are to put ourselves back in the running for the championship. With the riders and the team having done such a great job so far, together with the support of both BMW and Michelin, I'm confident we can be up there battling for the a win in the race tomorrow."

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start the Qatar World Endurance second round at Losail in Doha from third position after final qualifying earlier this morning under floodlights.

Team rider Vincent Philippe posted the fastest time of 2:01.396 on the GSX-R1000 but the combined time between him and team mates Anthony Delhalle and Yukio Kagayama - in his first ride for SERT - was 2:01.673.

Philippe, who is now fully-recovered from his injury sustained at the opening round at Magny Cours in April, was the fastest of the trio through all free practice sessions also where the team again recorded the third-fastest combined time.

Fastest qualifier was the BMW Motorrad France team of Erwan Nigon, Sebastien Gimbert and Damian Cudlin with a time of 2:00.910, just ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga, Igor German and Gwen Giabbani on 2:01.456.

The start of the 8 Hours of Doha will take place at 1700 hrs local time this afternoon with a Le Mans-style sprint with a 1am Sunday morning finish.

Qatar 2nd Practice results: 1 BMW Motorrad France (BMW) 2:01.470, 2 Yamaha France GMT 94 (Yamaha) 2:01.680, 3 SERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2:02.397, 4 Monster Energy Yamaha (Yamaha) 2:03.001, 5 Honda TT Legends (Honda) 2:03.408, 6 Bolliger Team Switzerland (Kawasaki) 2:03.692, 7 QERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2:04.671, 8 AM Moto Racing (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2:04.723, 9 Yamaha Folch Endurance (Yamaha) 2:04.777, 10 Penz 13 (BMW) 2:05.545.

Qatar Final Qualifying: 1 BMW Motorrad France (BMW) 2:00.910, 2 Monster Energy Yamaha (Yamaha) 2:01.456, 3 SERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2:01.673, 4 Yamaha France GMT 94 (Yamaha) 2:01.837, 5 Bolliger Team Switzerland (Kawasaki) 2:02.943.
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