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Apr 19, 2013

SRC Kawasaki Secures Pole Position For Bol d'Or 24 Hours World Endurance Race (Updated)

SRC Kawasaki (11) in action at the Bol d'Or 24 Hours FIM Endurance World Championship Race. Photo by David Reygondeau/
FIM Endurance World Championship
Bol d'Or 24 Hours
Magny-Cours, France
April 19, 2013
Combined Qualifying Results (times are an average of each team's riders' best lap times):

1. SRC KAWASAKI (Greg LEBLANC 1:39.200/Loris BAZ 1:39.436/Jeremy GUARNONI 1:40.194), Kaw ZX-10R, Superbike, 1:39.610

2. SUZUKI ENDURANCE RACING TEAM (Vincent PHILIPPE 1:39.827/Anthony DELHALLE 1:40.381/Julien DA COSTA 1:39.792), SUZUKI GSX-R1000, Superbike, 1:40.000

3. YAMAHA France - GMT94 - Michelin Yamalube (David CHECA 1:40.273/Kenny FORAY 1:40.747/Matthieu LAGRIVE 1:40.449), YAMAHA YZF-R1, Suprbike, 1:40.489

4. BMW Motorrad France Thevent (Karl MUGGERIDGE 1:41.717/Sebastien GIMBERT 1:40.283/Sylvain BARRIER 1:40.070), BMW S1000RR, Superbike, 1:40.690

5. JUNIOR TEAM LMS SUZUKI (Baptiste GUITTET 1:42.328/Etienne MASSON 1:41.855/Nans CHEVAUX 1:42.249), SUZUKI GSX-R1000, Superstock, 1:42.144

6. NATIONAL MOTOS (Gregory JUNOD 1:41.907/Thomas METRO 1:43.189/Olivier FOUR 1:41.984), HONDA CBR1000RR, Superbike, 1:42.360

7. TEAM LOUIT MOTO33 (Florian MARINO 1:42.774/L. SAVADORI 1:41.813/Emeric JONCHIERE 1:42.626), Kawasaki ZX-10R, Superstock, 1:42.404

8. AM MOTO RACING COMPETITION (Anthony LOISEAU 1:43.146/Romain MAITRE 1:42.209/Jonathan HARDT 1:42.609), SUZUKI GSX-R1000, Superstock, 1:42.654

9. MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA - YART (Igor JERMAN 1:43.338/Broc PARKES 1:41.073/Marko JERMAN 1:43.816), YAMAHA YZF-R1, Superbike, 1:42.742

10. TEAM R2CL (Dylan BUISSON 1:43.329/Guillaume DIETRICH 1:42.436/Gwen GIABBANI 1:42.624), Suzuki GSX-R1000, Superbike, 1:42.796

12. HONDA TT LEGENDS (John MCGUINESS 1:43.035/Michael RUTTER 1:43.336/Simon ANDREWS 1:42.762), HONDA CBR1000RR, Superbike, 1:43.044

17. PENZ13.COM FRANKS AUTOWELT RACING TEAM (Pedro VALLCANERAS 1:44.084/Jason PRIDMORE 1:41.917/Hayato TAKADA 1:45.622), BMW S1000RR, Superstock, 1:43.874

More, from a press release issued by FIM Endurance Press Office:

SRC Kawasaki confirms Pole Position at Bol d’Or ahead of SERT and Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube

The SRC Kawasaki’s times on the Magny-Cours circuit remain unbeaten. This morning, Gregory Leblanc, Loris Baz and Jérémy Guarnoni continued to fend off the assaults of their rivals who were looking more and more dangerous in this second qualifying session for the Bol d’Or. On the average of the crew’s best lap times, which determine the team’s place on the grid, the official Kawasaki still has a lead of just under half a second over the reigning FIM Endurance World Champion, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT). Although Vincent Philippe also broke the 1’40 barrier on the official Suzuki, he will be starting in second place on the grid tomorrow with team mates Anthony Delhalle and Julien Da Costa.

Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube had a great day, taking third place on the grid. David Checa improved his best time by half a second with a great performance this morning. Better still, Matthieu Lagrive, who was hampered by traffic on the circuit yesterday, gained over one second, allowing the French official Yamaha to snatch third place on the grid from BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent despite a fine performance by Sébastien Gimbert at the very end of the morning’s qualifying session.

Kudos goes to the riders of Junior Team Suzuki LMS ! Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Nans Chevaux all improved their best lap times. They are ahead of Honda National Motos, held up by a crash, and will take a well earned fifth place on the grid. Junior Team Suzuki LMS is positioning itself as the best Superstock entry, closely followed by the Kawasaki of Team Louit Motos 33, who take seventh place on the grid after finishing yesterday’s practice in twelfth place. Just behind them, another Superstock, the Suzuki AM Moto Racing Compétition, is snapping at their wheels ahead of the Monster Energy Yamaha YART. The Austrian official Yamaha and the British team Honda TT Legends still seem to be feeling their way with their rejigged crews.

After the warm-up, scheduled to start at 10 h 30 tomorrow, this 77th Bol d’Or will start at 15 h 00 and finish just 24 hours later.

More, from a press release issued by Honda TT Legends:

Top ten start for Honda TT Legends at Bol d’Or
Following two days of qualifying at the Magny Cours circuit in France, the Honda TT Legends will start the 2013 Bol d’Or 24-hour race from ninth on the grid with John McGuinness, Simon Andrews and newcomer Michael Dunlop forming the three-rider line-up.

McGuinness, Andrews, Dunlop and Michael Rutter each completed two 20-minute qualifying sessions, with Dunlop securing the fastest lap for the team. As the fourth rider, his lap does not contribute towards the team's final qualifying time, therefore the combined fastest laps of McGuinness, Rutter and Andrews see the team start from ninth.

Due to the leg injury he sustained during pre-season testing, it has been decided that Rutter will not compete in the race, leaving Dunlop to take his place in the line-up. The Bol d’Or 24-hour – which is the opening round of the 2013 Endurance World Championship – will start at 15.00 CET tomorrow.

Neil Tuxworth
We’ve had no machine issues at all during the official free practice and qualifying over the past two days, so it’s gone very well. We pride ourselves on our reliability but we’re trying to increase the performance all the time as well. I do think our bike is working better than last year, the new electronics system has certainly improved things. We’re in a reasonably strong position for the race and the decision has been made to run McGuinness, Andrews and Dunlop in that order. Michael Rutter has obviously got some injuries he’s recovering from and he’s the one most likely to suffer during the race having not done a 24-hour before, so we think this is the best scenario.

John McGuinness
We’re all pretty much the same in terms of lap times, there’s not much in it, and that’s where we want to be. It’s fair to say that qualifying is not the be all and end all in endurance, it’s more about reliability and consistency and we know that we can achieve that. As always, we’ll aim to do 24 hours of consistent laps and hopefully we’ll be there at the end.

Simon Andrews
We’ve all been working together to try a few different things. The chassis has come on really well and I posted the quickest lap time yesterday. We made a few changes for today and everyone went quicker again, although I got caught up on the final sector of my fast lap. There’s a lot of traffic in the first three groups and you really get hammered. Managing the traffic is hard but that’s exactly what we have to do in the race. It messed up an important lap for me but the main thing is we are consistent and our times are bunched together, which is in some ways more important that having one really fast riders and one or two slower ones. Consistency is key and that’s what we’ll be aiming for in the race.

Michael Dunlop
I don’t do a lot of short circuit racing so it’s nice to have been the quickest rider today. I actually feel like I could have gone a bit quicker and I think that will come with a bit more time on the bike. We’re certainly making headway with the set-up. We obviously aim to get to a stage where everybody is happy, we can’t just make me happy or someone else happy, so it’s a compromise but it seems to be working. I’m obviously pleased to have been chosen to race and I’m looking forward to it.

Michael Rutter
It’s been good over the past couple of days, learning the track, doing the night practice and getting used to the new way of working in the endurance championship. The body’s hanging in after the crash injuries but I fully understand the decision for me not to do the race. I wish the guys all the best of luck and hope they can bring home a good result.

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More, from a press release issued by

Magny-Cours, France - 19 April 2013: BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent will start tomorrow's 77th edition of the Bol d'Or from fourth position, after a solid qualifying performance at Magny-Cours this afternoon.

Third fastest yesterday, the team slipped a place in today's final qualifying session, ending just one second off the pole position time set by SRC Kawasaki. It was an impressive performance by Sébastien Gimbert, Karl Muggeridge and the reigning Superstock 1000 Cup Champion, Sylvain Barrier, who was the fastest of the three BMW riders.

For Muggeridge in particular, qualifying was a baptism of fire. The 38-year-old Australian was drafted into the team at the last minute and has little experience of the EWC specification BMW S1000RR and Michelin tyres that the team will campaign in tomorrow's race. The former World Supersport Champion improved throughout practice and qualifying, finishing just over a second off the lap times of his more experienced teammates, Barrier and Gimbert.

Gimbert will take the start aboard the #99 BMW S1000RR in tomorrow's race, which gets underway at 15.00 local time.

Sylvain Barrier: Qualifying Lap - 1'40.070
"We've improved the bike over the course of the weekend, closing the gap to the top of the timesheet as a result, but fourth is not really where we wanted to be starting tomorrow's race from. But, it's the race that counts and I hope tomorrow we will be able to lap consistently, stay close to the front, avoid any problems and come away with a good result after 24 hours of racing."

Sébastien Gimbert: Qualifying Lap - 1'40.283
"I'm not so happy with fourth in qualifying as I prefer to start from pole! But pole position, while nice for a rider, is pretty irrelevant when it comes to a 24-hour race. Much more important is our finishing position on Sunday. Ultimately, this is how our performance is measured, not in qualifying. The bike is working pretty well here and we have a strong rider line up, so we're in a good position going into tomorrow's race. For me this is the worst part; waiting to race. I want to get going now!"

Karl Muggeridge: Qualifying Lap - 1'41.717
"Qualifying is one thing; basically it's one lap that provides a reference as to just how fast you can push the bike, but the race is something very different. We'll complete something like 600 race laps this weekend and it's the performance over this distance that is most important. I think we're in a better position in this regard than our qualifying position maybe shows. We need to enter the race steadily and we need to race cleverly. If we can do that, whilst making no mistakes, then I think we can leave here with a pretty respectable result."

77th Edition Bol d'Or - Schedule

Saturday 20th April
10.30 - 11.15: Warm Up
14.30: Start Procedure
15.00: Start of the 77th edition of the Bol d'Or

77th Edition Bol d'Or - TV Timings

The Bol d'Or will be shown live on Motors TV at the following times:

Saturday 20th April
14.30 - 17.05
19.00 - 23.30

Sunday 21st April
10.00 - 12.00
14.00 - 15.30

77th Edition Bol d'Or - Live Stream
The Bol d'or will be streamed live online by Dailymotion

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

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

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start tomorrow's opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Magny Cours in France from second place on the grid.

SERT's Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Julien Da Costa improved their times aboard the GSX-R1000 in today's qualifying for the 77th Bol d'Or, finishing less than 400ths-of-a-second behind pole setters SRC Kawasaki after Philippe put in a sub-1:40-minute lap time.

Third place was Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube ahead of BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent and top Superstock qualifiers Junior Team Suzuki LMS riders Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Nans Chevaux in fifth.

After the warm-up, scheduled to start at 10:30 tomorrow, the 77th Bol d'Or will start at 15:00. Live coverage is available on

Bol d'Or Qualifying: 1 SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 1:39.610, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start tomorrow's opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Magny Cours in France from second place on the grid. , 3 Yamaha France GMT 94 (Yamaha) 1:40.489, 4 BMW Motorrad France (BMW) 1:40.690, 5 Junior Team Suzuki LMS (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:42.144.