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Apr 25, 2014

Honda Racing Team Takes Pole Position For Bol d'Or 24-Hour FIM Endurance World Championship Race At Magny Cours

Honda Racing (111) will start the Bol d'Or 24-Hour FIM Endurance World Championship race from pole position.

FIM Endurance World Championship/Bol d'Or 24-Hour

Magny Cours, France

April 25, 2014

Qualifying Results:

1. Honda Racing (Julien Da Costa 1:40.382/Freddy Foray 1:41.324/Sebastien Gimbert 1:40.702), Honda CBR1000RR, Superbike,  1:40.802

2. Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin (David Checa 1:40.555/Kenny Foray 1:41.255/Mathieu Gines 1:40.947), Yam YZF-R1, Superbike, 1:40.919

3. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe 1:40.517/Anthony Delhalle 1:41.797/Erwan Nigon 1:41.076), Suz GSX-R1000, Superbike, 1:41.130

4. Junior Team LMS Suzuki (Baptiste Guittet 1:42.214/Etienne Masson 1:41.959/Gregg Black 1:41.696), Suz GSX-R1000, Superstock, 1:41.956

5. National Motos (Arturo Tizon 1:41.152/Olivier Four 1:42.162/Gregory Junod 1:42.730), Hon CBR1000RR, Superbike, 1:42.014

6. Team Bolliger Switzerland 8 (Horst Saiger 1:41.991/Roman Stamm 1:41.980/Daniel Sutter 1:42.982), Kaw ZX-10R, Superbike, 1:42.317

7. Monster Energy Yamaha - YART (Wayne Maxwell 1:41.632/Patrick Olson 1:42.609/Igor Jerman 1:42.871), Yam YZF-R1, Superbike, 1:42.370

8. Franks Autowelt Racing Team (Jason Pridmore 1:43.241/Pedro Vallcaneras 1:43.130/Bastien Mackels 1:41.437), BMW S1000RR, Superstock, 1:42.602

9. Hall Motos 02 (Cedric Tangre 1:42.613/Camille Hedelin 1:43.694/Luca De Carolis 1:42.368), Kaw ZX-10R, Superstock, 1:42.891

10. Qatar Endurance Racing Team (Alex Cudlin 1:41.939/Mashel Al Naimi 1:43.055/Nina Prinz 1:43.813), Kaw ZX-10R, Superstock, 1:42.935

More, from a press release issued by FIM:

Honda Racing takes pole position at the Bol d’Or

A promising start for a new team!

For its first appearance in the FIM Endurance World Championship, Honda Racing will be lining up on the grid in pole position. This team, headed up by Neil Tuxworth and managed by Steven Casaer, has entrusted its CBR1000RR to a trio of Endurance specialists, Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert.

Just behind Honda Racing on the grid will be the Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin with David Checa, Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines and the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team with Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Erwan Nigon. The grid was largely fixed yesterday, Thursday, during the first qualifiers as the riders were unable to improve on their earlier performances in today’s wet conditions on the track at Magny-Cours. Only one rider, Matthieu Lagrive still had to make his mark on the timesheets as he missed the first qualifying session yesterday after a crash in the free practice aboard the SRC Kawasaki. Despite a benign but painful crack to a vertebra, Matthieu Lagrive clocked up a best time of 1’48.307 on a very tricky surface. Although the factory Kawasaki slipped back to 16th on the grid, Matthieu Lagrive is now qualified to ride alongside his crewmates Gregory Leblanc and Nicolas Salchaud.

In Superstock, Junior Team LMS Suzuki has mounting ambitions. Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black took fourth place on the grid behind the top teams. In this Superstock category, they are ahead of BMW Franks Autowelt Racing Team and the Kawasakis of Hall Motos 02 and the Qatar Endurance Racing Team.

The sharpest of the private teams have ridden their way into the Top 10 of this starting grid. Honda National Motos will be starting in 5th ahead of the Kawasaki of Bolliger Team Switzerland. In the qualifiers, they bested Monster Energy Yamaha YART, pushing it back into 7th on the grid.

Given the rainy conditions forecast for this weekend, it is very hard to predict a winner. The start of this edition of the Bol d’Or, the last to take place at Magny-Cours before it returns to the Castellet circuit in 2015, will be given tomorrow, Saturday, at 15.00 hours.

What they said…

Freddy Foray, Honda Racing rider

“We are very happy but pole position was not our main objective. We are staying focused on the race so that we can be in good shape at 15.00 hours on Sunday”

Julien Da Costa, Honda Racing rider

“We had a lucky break in the qualifiers but we have a comfortable machine and a good engine and that means we should be able make a good showing in the race”.

Sébastien Gimbert, Honda Racing rider

“ I of all people can tell you that in Endurance the pole position doesn’t equate to a win.” 

Neil Tuxworth, Honda Racing Team Manager

“This will be a tough race but we have a very good crew, a very good bike and riders who know the discipline inside out. That’s what explains our result out there today.” 

More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing:

Honda Racing on pole for the Bol d'Or 24-hour

The Honda Racing team and its all-new rider line-up of Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastien Gimbert will start tomorrow’s Bol d’Or 24-hour race from pole position ahead of Yamaha GMT94 and current world champions SERT.

Today’s second qualifying session took place in damp conditions leaving the riders no chance to improve on yesterday’s dry lap times and resulting in Honda Racing maintaining its position at the top of the timesheet. The team made use of da Costa and Gimbert’s 20-minute sessions to carry out fuel and tyre tests, while Foray chose to sit out of his stint to rest his injured rib.

The 78th Bol d’Or 24-hour race will begin at 15.00 CEST tomorrow. Live timing and a live stream is available via the FIM website:

Neil Tuxworth team manager

Our focus during qualifying was on race set-up rather than securing pole position, however we are obviously very pleased with the result and what that means for our progress as a team. The more important thing is the race itself and we will now dedicate ourselves to being well-prepared for the difficult task that lies ahead.

Julien Da Costa

As I said yesterday, pole position was not our aim so it’s a nice surprise. Today the conditions were not good but it’s given us a chance to work on the set-up of the bike. Now we just need to prepare ourselves for the race and hopefully we’ll be on the podium on Sunday.

Freddy Foray

I decided to sit out of today’s session because there was no chance to go faster and I wanted to make sure I am rested to be ready for the race tomorrow. I am happy with pole position and as team we are working very well together so everything is in place for a good result.

Sebastien Gimbert

I am happy that we have kept the pole position because although the starting position is not as important in endurance, it is a good feeling for the new team. The conditions today gave us time to do some good work on the bike and with the tyres, so we are ready to focus on the race. 

More, from a press release issued by Franks Autowelt Racing Team: BMW Racing Team: 8th on the grid for at the 78th Bol d’Or at Magny-Cours

Magny-Cours. The Franks Autowelt Racing Team will start the 78th Bol d’Or with the legendary 24 hours of Magny-Cours from the 8th spot on the grid. Riders Jason Pridmore (USA), Pedro Vallcaneras (ESP) and Bastien Mackels (BEL) together fought to a average qualifying time of 1:42,602 Minutes to place their BMW S 1000 RR machinery on second place of the Superstock category.

Today no improvements of times were possible due to heavy thunderstorms going over the Circuit de Nevers in the night from Thursday to Friday. Second Qualifying took place under no rain, but with a wet track.

The Rico Penzkofer led squad concentrated on different Pirelli tire strategies today (wet front, intermediate rear) and to combine them with several mappings of the HP Race Support and BMW technician Kurt Böck.

Thursday night also saw the Night-Sessions which are compulsory for all teams and riders. The Franks Autowelt Racing Team and all of it’s three riders used the session to get used to the French night time and the track under dark conditions. No problems occurred for the Saxonian based squad.

The 24 hours of Magny-Cours:

Start: Saturday, 25. April 2014, 15:00 MEZ
Finish: Sunday, 26. April 2014, 15:00 MEZ

Live Timing, Live Stream & Results:

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:


Defending World Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will line-up on the grid for the opening round of the 2014 FIM Endurance World Championship from third-position at Magny-Cours for the 78th Bol d’Or 24-Hours race in France tomorrow.

Team riders Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and new team rider Erwan Nigon put the French team’s Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 to a combined qualification-time of 1:41.130; just-over 300ths-of-a second off Pole Position behind Honda Racing’s Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastien Gimbert.

Philippe, however, was one of only three riders to dip-below the 1:41.00 mark; his best individual lap-time of 1:40.517 only being bettered by Da Costa (1:40.382), while second-placed grid team - Yamaha GMT 94 rider David Checa - posted the third-best lap-time of 1:40.555 as conditions worsened at the Nevers Circuit and most times were not improved from yesterday’s opening practices and first qualifying session.

In the Superstock class, Junior Team LMS Suzuki’s Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black took fourth place overall on the grid behind the top teams with an average time of just-over 1.1-seconds behind the fastest qualifier onboard its Superstock-spec GSX-R1000. Junior Team LMS is ahead of BMW-mounted Franks Autowelt Racing Team, Kawasaki’s Hall Motos 02 and the Qatar Endurance Racing Team in eighth, ninth and 10th respectively.

Team R2CL Suzuki riders Guy Martin, Gwen Giabbani and Gareth Jones are in 13th position overall aboard its GSX-R1000 with a time of 1:43.133, behind Suzuki-mounted Team Motors Events April Moto’s Gregory Fastre, Michael Savary and James Storrar (1:43.081).

Warm-up is from 10:30 tomorrow morning (local time) with the start of the Bol d’Or 24-Hour event starting at 15:00. You can also follow with various global satellite TV channels, but can watch live on for live video within TV schedules, or for live Tweets constantly. 

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