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Jul 5, 2002

Free Bike Yamaha Takes Pole For Spa 24-hour In Belgium With New Lap Record

<BR><BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Free Bike Yamaha's Philippe Donischal, Mathieu Lagrive and E. Misera will start the 31st 24 Heure de Liege at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium from pole position with a new lap record time. <BR><BR>In Friday's final qualifying session, Free Bike Yamaha's riders' used a YZF-R7 Superbike to record a best time of 2:28.975 around the 4.33-mile course to beat out the previous lap record of 2:29.377 set by Terry Rymer, Brian Morrison and Jehan D'Orgeix on Kawasaki ZX-7R in 1997. <BR><BR>Free Bike Yamaha just edged out second-fastest qualifier Suzuki GSX-R1000-mounted Zongshen. Zongshen's Stephane Mertens, Warwick Nowland and Igoj Jerman missed out by 0.009-second with a time of 2:28.984. Starting third on Saturday will be the SERT Suzuki trio of Christian Lavieille, Brian Morrison and Laurent Brian with a combined time of 2:29.007 on their Suzuki GSX-R1000. <BR><BR>Riding another Suzuki GSX-R1000, fourth-fastest qualifier GMT94's Sebastien Scarnato, William Costes and Christophe Guyot also lapped under the old record with a 2:29.011.<BR><BR>The Spa 24-hour is not part of the 2002 FIM Endurance World Championship series but many of the 59 entries are regulars with the FIM series. No American riders appear on the entry list for the Spa 24-hour.<BR>