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Sep 21, 2013

Some Teams Change Lineups Prior To Start Of 24 Hours Of Le Mans

FIM Endurance World Championship: Michael Dunlop (77) will ride in place of John McGuinness on the Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR at Le Mans.
Top teams rejig their crews again for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

After this morning’s warm-up, the teams finalised their racing crews. There were some changes announced because of injuries as with the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT). Reigning World Champion and current top of the leader board, the SERT has confirmed Alex Cudlin for Le Mans. “Alex has earned his place in the crew”, say Vincent Philippe and Julien Da Costa, the two stalwarts of the French Suzuki factory team that will be starting in pole position this afternoon at 15h.

Team SRC Kawasaki, winner of the last three editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 2013 Bol d’Or, is also changing its crew. After the practice, the Kawasaki team has chosen to field its fourth rider, Nicolas Salchaud, to replace Axel Maurin, originally taken on as third man after the late withdrawal of Jérémy Guarnoni. The SRC Kawasaki with Gregory Leblanc, Fabien Foret and Nicolas Salchaud will be starting from third position on the grid, just behind the Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube. Christophe Guyot’s team is one of the rare top teams to be fielding its usual line-up. Consistently impressive performances by David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive make this Yamaha team a serious contender for a win at this 36th edition of the motorcycling version of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Austrian team Monster Energy Yamaha YART is in fourth on the starting grid with Broc Parkes, Josh Hayes and Igor Jerman. Josh Waters, who normally riders for the YART, was released to take part in a British Superbike race with his UK team, but several days ago he found himself again free to ride. Josh Waters is therefore back in the FIM Endurance World Championship, this time with BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent that picked him to stand in for Damian Cudlin, tied up with an IDM Superbike race in Germany.

Another post-practice casting change was announced by Honda TT Legends. Michael Dunlop will replace John McGuiness to make his début at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Michael Rutter and Simon Andrews. We shall also be seeing an Olympic champion, pole vaulting vice World Champion Renaud Lavillenie, originally recruited as the fourth man, take to the track for AZ Motos alongside Stéphane Mézard and David Dumain.

We shall have to wait till a few hours into the race to see what impact this game of musical chairs among the leading teams will have on the team’s performances on the track! The start of this exciting race will be given at 15h on the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans.