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Aug 16, 2013

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Claims Pole Position For Oschersleben 8 Hours (Updated)

FIM Endurance World Championship: Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (1). Photo by, courtesy of FIM.
FIM Endurance World Championship
Oschersleben, Germany
August 16, 2013
Final Qualifying Results (teams ranked according to average of all riders' best lap time):

1. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team SERT (Vincent Philippe/Anthony Delhalle/Julien da Costa), Suz GSX-R1000, Superbike, 1:26.897

2. BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent (Sebastien Gimbert/Erwan Nigon/Damian Cudlin), BMW S1000RR, Superbike, 1:27.060

3. Monster Energy Yamaha YART (Broc Parkes/Josh Waters/Igor Jerman), Yam YZF-R1, Superbike, 1:27.168

4. Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube (David Checa/Kenny Foray/Maxime Berger), Yam YZF-R1, Superbike, 1:27.758

5. Bolliger Team Switzerland (Horst Saiger/Roman Stamm/Daniel Sutter), Kaw ZX-10R, Superbike, 1:28.313

6. Junior Team LMS Suzuki (Baptiste Guittet/Etienne Masson/Gregg Black), Suz GSX-R1000, Superstock, 1:28.513

7. Team Louit Moto 33 (Florian Marino/Lorenzo Savadori/Emeriv Jonchiere), Kaw ZX-10R, Superstock, 1:28.540

8. DG Sport Herock (Didier Vankeymeulen/Raymond Schouten/Lucas Mahias), Yam YZF-R1, Superbike, 1:28.697

9. AM Moto Racing Competition (Anthony Loiseau/Romain Maitre/Jonathan Hardt), Suz GSX-R1000, Superstock, 1:28.737

10. Franks Autowelt Racing (Jason Pridmore/Pedro Vallcaneras/Steve Mercer), BMW S1000RR, Superstock, 1:29.003

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

SERT takes pole position ahead of BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent and Monster Energy Yamaha YART

The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) has clinched its first pole position of the season in Oschersleben. The reigning World Champion is also chasing a first victory in Germany to bolster its provisional Championship lead. Behind the French factory Suzuki on the grid is the BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent. The Belgian BMW has nothing to lose after DNFs in the first two rounds of 2013. In today’s second qualifying practice session, Sébastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon and Damian Cudlin showed that they mean business, snatching second place on the grid from the Monster Energy Yamaha YART. The best individual time was clocked up by Broc Parkes, team mate of Josh Waters and Igor Jerman on the Austrian Yamaha. Dunlop and Michelin will therefore be going head to head at the Oschersleben 8 Hours as the Suzuki is fitted by Dunlop and the BMW and the Yamaha by Michelin.

Just behind on the time sheets, another Michelin-fitted machine, the Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube, will be starting in fourth position with David Checa, Kenny Foray and Maxime Berger, in front of the first privateer, the Kawasaki of Bolliger Team Switzerland with Horst Saiger, Roman Stamm and Daniel Sutter.

Behind the five leaders, the Superstocks are in close formation and the race in this category promises great things. The Junior Team LMS Suzuki will lead the Superstock pack out of the start gates, followed by Team Louit Moto 33 (Kawasaki), DG Sport Herock (Yamaha), AM Moto Racing Compétition (Suzuki) and Franks Autowelt Racing Team (BMW). All these Superstock machines will start ahead of the Honda TT Legends and the Suzuki of R2CL as well as the Suzuki of Team Motors Events April Moto, one of the pre-race Superstock favourites.

To optimise light conditions at the end of the day, the race start has been brought forward 15 minutes. The race will therefore be starting tomorrow at 12 h 45 for a finish at 20 h 45.

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

Honda TT Legends to start from 11th in Germany
The Honda TT Legends will start tomorrow’s 8 Hours of Oschersleben Endurance World Championship race from 11th on the grid following the final qualifying session today.

In hot and sunny conditions, Michael Rutter, Simon Andrews and John McGuinness once again took to the 3.6km German circuit for 20 minutes each. Higher track temperatures and incident-filled sessions meant it was difficult to improve on yesterday’s performance, however Rutter did manage to shave two tenths off his time with a 1’28.800 lap.

The grid position is determined by the combined average of the three riders' fastest times across both qualifying sessions. The TT Legends' combined average of 1'29.144 sees the team start tomorrow’s race from 11th on the grid. The 8 Hours of Oschersleben will begin at 13.00 CET.

Neil Tuxworth
We were hoping for some improvement today but the warmer weather meant no-one really improved on their time. We’ve maintained 11th overall but I don’t think that is a true reflection of where we are capable of running in the race. We are consistent and we have a good fuel strategy so if we have a trouble-free race I think we’ll be somewhere in contention.

Michael Rutter
It was harder today because the track temperature was so much higher, but I’m pleased that I managed to get a 1’28 lap. Everyone was struggling with grip and I don’t think anyone really improved too much so we’re not alone in that. Now we just have to look forward to tomorrow and focus on bringing home a good result in the race.

John McGuinness
I’m a little bit disappointed to be honest as we were expecting a bit more. At this stage in the season though we just need to make sure we get a solid result and score some points, which I think we are more than capable of doing as a team.

Simon Andrews
My objective was to get clear track but there were five crashes in my session so it proved difficult. I managed to get one or two half-decent laps and got a good feel ready for the qualifier. With the qualifier in, I had to abort two laps due to crashes and then there was some gravel on track. It’s frustrating really as we were pumped and ready to go faster, but in the end pretty much the whole field was slower.

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent:

Oschersleben, Germany - 16 August 2013: BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent will start tomorrow's 8 Hours of Oschersleben race from second position on the Le Mans style grid, after Sébastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon and Damian Cudlin posted an average lap time of 1'27.060 during today's final qualifying session.
With all three riders capable of lapping in the 1'26s bracket on the Michelin qualifying tyres, pole position was a realistic goal for the team today, but they opted to focus on finalising the set-up of the #BMW S1000RR for tomorrow's race, rather than going all out for the questionable advantage of starting from the front of the grid.

Yesterday it was Cudlin whose 20-minute qualifying session was sacrificed to assess different combinations of tyres and suspension settings on the bike, while today it was the turn of Gimbert to confirm the settings on race tyres ready for tomorrow.

Despite Gimbert not managing a single lap on qualifying tyres today, the BMW trio only missed out on pole position by the narrowest of margins, with SERT taking the top spot by less than two-tenths of a second on combined times.

Warm up for the 8 Hours of Oschersleben gets underway at 08.45 tomorrow morning, with the race scheduled to start at 13.00. Nigon will take the start for BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent and the forecast promises good weather for the duration of the race.

Damian Cudlin: Fastest Lap - 1'26.677 (Q2)
"I'm really happy with the progress we've made today, especially with the combination of tyres and suspension. Yesterday was a tough day to be honest, but we regrouped and worked together as a team to improve our position. Today we showed our potential and hopefully tomorrow we can achieve a good result and repay everyone in the team for their hard work."

Sébastien Gimbert: Fastest Lap - 1'27.990 (Q1)
"We changed a lot on the bike overnight, as a result of yesterday's qualifying sessions, so my job today was simply to confirm all the settings on race tyres before Erwan and Damian pushed for fast times on the qualifying tyres. In the past we've pushed for pole position only to struggle in the race, so this time we focussed more on race set-up, with positive results. We've made significant improvements with the bike in race trim since yesterday, which means we go into tomorrow's race with some confidence. But, as we've seen already this season, a lot can happen in eight hours of racing, so we'll see how we go."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"We had some issues yesterday, but the team and riders did a great job and put in a lot of hard work overnight to improve the bike ahead of the final qualifying sessions today. With so many changes on the bike we had to use Seb's 20-minute session today to confirm the settings on race tyres, which meant that we missed out on pole by the narrowest of margins, but it's the race set-up that's important. Erwan will take the start from second position on the grid tomorrow and we'll just have to see how the race develops. A finish is important, but if we are in a position to win then that's exactly what we'll be trying to do."

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


Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is on Pole for tomorrow's World Endurance Championship Oschersleben 8-Hours third round in Germany.

SERT riders Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Julien Da Costa improved on their combined time yesterday aboard the French team's GSX-R1000 to top the timesheets with a 1:26.897 average around the 3,667m circuit in the north of the country; just under 200ths-of-a-second ahead of BMW Motorrad France's Sebastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon and Damian Cudlin; who's third-best lap-time of 1:26.677 boosted the team's overall time to 1: 27.060.

Third is Monster Energy YART's Broc Parkes, Josh Waters and Igor Jerman on 1:27.168 - Parkes' best lap of 1:26.147 from yesterday remaining the best ahead of Philippe's 1:26.571. They are just ahead of Yamaha France GMT 94 (1:27.758) and the Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki on 1:28.313.

GSX-R1000-mounted Junior Team LMS Suzuki's Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black will start as the top Superstock Class qualifiers after posting the sixth overall best time of the day with a 1:28.513; and fellow Suzuki Superstock team, AM Moto Racing Competition (Anthony Loiseau, Romain Maitre and Jonathan Hardt), finished ninth overall and fourth-best in class with a time of 1:28.737.

Oschersleben 8-Hours Final Qualifying: 1 SERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) - 1:26.897, 2 BMW Motorrad France (BMW) - 1: 27.060, 3 Monster Energy YART (Yamaha) - 1:27.168, 4 Yamaha France GMT 94 (Yamaha) - 1:27.758, 5 Bolliger Team Switzerland (Kawasaki) - 1:28.313, 6 Junior Team LSM (Suzuki GSX-R1000) - 1:28.513, 7 Team Louit Moto 33 (Kawasaki) - 1:28.540, 8 DGSPORT HEROK (Yamaha) - 1:28.697, 9 AM Moto Racing Competition (Suzuki GSX-R1000) - 1:28.737, 10 (BMW) - 1:29.003.
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