Mar 21, 2013
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
From a press release
issued by BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent
FIM Endurance World Championship: BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent's Sebastien Gimbert (99) testing at Magny-Cours.
Magny-Cours, France - 21 March 2013: BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent's longest serving rider, Sébastien Gimbert, declared himself confident of a strong result at this year's Bol d'Or, after today concluding the pre-race test at Magny-Cours.
The opening day of the test dawned wet, with the track only drying late in the afternoon, giving little opportunity for Gimbert and his teammates - Sylvain Barrier, Patric Muff and Olivier Four - to get much needed time on the Michelin slick tyres that they'll use at the Bol d'Or, which takes place on 20 and 21 April.
While the track temperature remained low for today's second session, the conditions at least stayed dry. Both Gimbert and Barrier were quick to get to grips with the new Michelin slicks, jumping straight to the top of the timesheet. The dry conditions also allowed Muff and Four to start the familiarisation process with the tyres, which neither has raced on before.
A heavy crash for Sylvain Barrier, from which he walked away uninjured, was the only issue during the test. With the bike severely damaged in the crash, Gimbert, Barrier, Muff and Four were forced to share the remaining bike, reducing track time for all of them.
"Once again the weather wasn't ideal for testing at Magny-Cours. Rain in the morning of the first day left the track wet until the afternoon, which meant today was our only opportunity to run on slick tyres, even if it was still very cold. The new tyre from Michelin is very fast, with good durability and it worked well despite the difficult conditions. The new bike is also very quick, as the lap times from today show, but you have to fight with the bike on a fast lap. Before we return here for the Bol d'Or next month we will make some set-up changes to make the bike less demanding to ride, otherwise it will take a heavy toll on the riders over 24 hours of racing. Sylvain was very quick from the start, while Patric and Olivier focussed on getting to know how the Michelin tyres work. Despite the lack of dry testing time this year I'm confident going into the Bol d'Or because, once again, we head there with a very competitive package."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Once again the weather has played a big part in our preparations for the season. Of the four days of testing we've done so far this year only one has been dry. It's far from ideal, but then it's the same for everyone. Regardless, the team has done a good job, as have our four riders. We have, once again, proved that the combination of the BMW S1000RR and Michelin tyres is the fastest out there, but we still have some work to do on the set-up if we are to keep the speed while making the bike easier on the riders. Racing for 24 hours is tough enough on the riders, without them having to fight the bike on every lap as well, but this is an area in which we can improve. I think Seb's confidence is well placed; we have the riders, the bike, the tyres and an experienced team, so a strong showing at the opening race is well within our capabilities."
2013 Endurance World Championship Calendar
20-21 April Bol d'Or Magny Cours, France
27-28 July Suzuka 8 Hours Suzuka, Japan
16-17 August 8 Hours of Oschersleben Oschersleben, Germany
21-22 August Pre-Mans Test Le Mans, France
21-22 September 24 Heures Moto Le Mans, France