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Sep 19, 2013

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team On Provisional Pole For 24 Hours Of Le Mans

FIM Endurance World Championship: Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (1) in action at Le Mans. Photo by, courtesy of FIM.
FIM Endurance World Championship
Le Mans, France
September 19, 2013
Qualifying Session One Results (listed by best average times of all riders):

1. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe 1:37.697/Julien Da Costa 1:37.258/Alex Cudlin 1:39.116), Suz GSX-R1000, Superbike, 1:38.023

2. Team SRC Kawasaki (Gregory Leblanc 1:37.611/Fabien Foret 1:37.608/Axel Morin 1:40.849), Superbike, Kaw ZX-10R, 1:38.689

3. Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube (David Checa 1:38.937/Kenny Forey 1:39.106/Matthieu Lagrive 1:38.550), Yam YZF-R1, Superbike, 1:38.864

4. BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent (Sebastien Gimbert 1:39.015/Sylvain Barrier 1:38.306/Jake Zemke 1:40.821), BMW S1000RR, Superbike, 1:39.380

5. Monster Energy Yamaha YART (Broc Parkes 1:39.693/Josh Hayes 1:39.842/Igor Jerman 1:39.570), Yam YZF-R1, Superbike, 1:39.701

6. Junior Team LMS Suzuki (Baptiste Guittet 1:40.080/Etienne Masson 1:39.061/Guillaume Dietrich 1:40.054), Suz GSX-R1000, Superstock, 1:39.731

7. Team Bolliger Kawasaki (Horst Saiger 1:39.126/David Morillon 1:40.295/Julien Enjolras 1:39.785), Kaw ZX-10R, Superbike, 1:39.735

8. Honda TT Legends (Michael Rutter 1:39.816/Simon Andrews 1:39.635/John McGuinness 1:39.931), Hon CBR1000RR, Superbike, 1:39.794

9. Team Louit Moto 33 (Florian Marino 1:40.783/Lorenzo Savadori 1:39.149/Emeric Jonchiere 1:39.851), Kaw ZX-10R, Superstock, 1:39.927

10. Team R2CL (Guy Martin 1:40.499/Dylan Buisson 1:40.347/Gwen Giabbani 1:39.199), Suz GSX-R1000, Superbike, 1:40.015

20. Frankes Autowelt Racing Team (Jason Pridmore 1:40.316/Pedro Vallcaneras 1:41.420/Steve Mercer 1:42.293), BMW S1000RR, Superstock, 1:41.343

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

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team takes provisional pole at Le Mans
ahead of SRC Kawasaki and Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube

The first qualifying session saw some remarkable on-track duels pitting Vincent Philippe (SERT) against Gregory Leblanc (SRC Kawasaki) and Julien Da Costa (SERT) against Fabien Foret (SRC Kawasaki). Thanks to the best individual performance of Julien Da Costa in 1’37.258, a lap in 1’37.697 by Vincent Philippe and the relative uniformity of the crew with a good time by Alex Cudlin, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team managed to stay ahead during this first qualifying session. The Suzuki, reigning FIM Endurance World Champion, is just ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki, who had to cope with the late arrival of Axel Maurin to replace Jérémy Guarnoni. Just behind the Kawasaki is the Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube, fielding its usual crew David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive.

The Belgian team BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent also had to replace Damian Cudlin at the last minute but Sébastien Gimbert and Sylvain Barrier have enabled it to hang on to a fourth place on the provisional starting grid ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha YART with Broc Parkes, Josh Hayes and Igor Jerman.

The first Superstock, Junior Team LMS Suzuki, is in sixth place ahead of two EWC teams, Bolliger Team Switzerland and Honda TT Legends. Team Louit Moto 33 is the second Superstock in front of Team Motors Events April Moto.

The Japanese crew of SynergieForce TrickStar is currently in 22nd place but we can expect an improvement in the second session tomorrow. However, qualifying will be a challenge for the women’s team Amazone Fire, currently in 60th place coming out of this first timed session.

The second qualifying practice session will be taking place tomorrow, Friday, at the end of the morning. The average of the three official riders’ best times over the two qualifying rounds will determine the order of the teams on the starting grid of this 36th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours Motorcycling Race.

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

Honda TT Legends qualify provisional eighth at Le Mans

The final round of the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship got underway today with the first qualifying sessions for the 24 Heures Moto at Le Mans. The Honda TT Legends currently lie in provisional eighth for Saturday’s race start at the legendary French circuit. Provisional pole was secured by SERT.

The Honda TT Legends took to the track in a determined frame of mind and it paid off, with all four riders posting laps in the 1m39s bracket and within a few tenths of each other. Michael Dunlop set the fastest lap of 1.39:486, but as the listed fourth rider his times do not count towards the overall ranking. The combined average of the lap times set by Michael Rutter, Simon Andrews and John McGuinness (1.39:794) sees the team place eighth.

With just 0.1 second keeping the Honda TT Legends from a top five position, the team is even more determined to improve its performance in the final qualifying session, which begins at 11.20 CET tomorrow morning.

Neil Tuxworth - team manager
This year’s hard work is starting to pay off and we’re seeing an improved performance all round. The riders did well today and it’s good to have them all so close to each other in lap times. The whole team is upbeat and determined to return a good result and because of that we find ourselves only a tenth off fifth place. Our aim now is to do everything we can to scale our times by that tenth to rank fifth or sixth.

John McGuinness
A good start really. We’re definitely in the ball park. All four riders are within 0.4 of each other and we can only improve so I think we’ll be in a good strong position to start the race. The weather was good, the bike is good and the team is in great spirits.

Michael Rutter
I’m glad we had the test session on Tuesday as it meant we got a chance to learn the track a bit before we got started properly. It paid off as we’ve all done a 1.39 lap, which was the aim for today. Now we just need to go a bit faster tomorrow and hopefully we can get in the top five.

Simon Andrews
I’ve had a good day. We set out to achieve a lap time and we all reached it so that’s promising. The bike is going in the right direction, as is the mood of the team and we’re all looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow. I’m happy with my time, particularly in 60 bikes worth of traffic, but being so close to fifth is a great incentive to go quicker tomorrow.

Michael Dunlop
It’s been a good day for the team overall as we achieved what we set out to achieve. I’m learning the track and we’re making good progress with the bike. We just need to find a bit more tomorrow to get a bit higher on the timesheet.

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

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is on provisional Pole Position for the fourth and final round of the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship at Le Mans in France after the opening day of practice and qualifying.

Despite being down on its long-standing team member Anthony Delhalle - who broke his leg in two places and also his collarbone in a practice crash earlier this week - team riders Vincent Philippe, Julien Da Costa and Alex Cudlin topped the timesheets at the 36th Le Mans 24-Hours with a combined time of 1:38.023; which was just over 500ths-of-a-second ahead of SRC Kawasaki, with Yamaha GMT 94 in third position and the only other team to get under the 1:39.00-mark.

Fastest rider on track today was Da Costa, lapping the SERT GSX-R1000 around the 4.185km Circuit Bugatti with a time of 1:37.258. Second-fastest individual rider was SRC Kawasaki's Fabien Foret (1:37.608) with his team-mate Gregory Leblanc third on 1:37.611, while SERT's Philippe posted a time of 1:37.697. Fourth on the timesheets is the Belgian BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha YART.

Junior Team LMS Suzuki is the leading Superstock team, with riders Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Guillaume Dietrich putting their GSX-R1000 into sixth place overall ahead of Bolliger Team Switzerland and Honda TT Legends. Team Louit Moto 33 (Kawasaki) is the second Superstock team ahead of Team Motors Events April Moto Suzuki riders Gregory Fastre, Michael Savary and Claude Lucas.

The French Suzuki-mounted Team R2CL, who currently holds fourth-equal standings in the World Endurance Championship, finished the opening day in 10th position with guest rider - Tyco Suzuki's Guy Martin - putting-in a decent lap-time of 1:40.499 in his first ride on the team's Endurance-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000 around the circuit.

The second qualifying practice sessions take place tomorrow and the average times of the three official riders over the two qualifying sessions will determine the order of the teams on the starting grid for Saturday's race; that gets underway at 15:00hrs local time (GMT +2).

The event will be broadcast live on with several global satellite stations providing live and delayed coverage.

Le Mans 24-Hour 1st Qualifying: 1 SERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:38.023, 2 SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 1:38.689, 3 Yamaha France GMT 94 (Yamaha) 1:38.864, 4 BMW Motorrad France (BMW) 1:39.380, 5 Monster YART (Yamaha) 1:39.701, 6 Junior Team LMS (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:39.731, 7 Team Bolliger Switzerland (Kawasaki) 1:39.735, 8 Honda TT Legends (Honda) 1:39.794, 9 Team Louit Moto 33 (Kawasaki) 1:39.927, 10 Team R2CL (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:40.015.

More, from a press release issued by Franks Autowelt Racing Team:

Donnerstag, 19. September 2013

Provisional 20th on the grid of Le Mans for Franks Autowelt

Le Mans. The Franks Autowelt Racing Team qualified for a provisional 20th spot on the grid of the 36th edition of the 24 hours for Motorbikes of Le Mans today. Riders Jason Pridmore (USA), Pedro Vallcaneras (ESP) and Steve Mercer (GBR) got on a average lap time of 1:41,343 Minutes which meant the 10th spot in the Superstock category. Also reserve rider James Rispoli (USA) went out on track during the free and timed sessions and showed a brilliant learning curve in both outings - his first ones at the Circuit Bugatti in France.

Tomorrow’s Friday will host the final qualifying sessions with the race scheduled to start on 3 pm on Saturday. The squad of former racer Rico Penzkofer could defend it’s FIM World Endurance Superstock Cup title on Sunday.

Jason Pridmore, Rider, 1:40,316 Minutes:
„At the end of my stint we made a small change to the bike but I ran out of time to get that confirmed. I just can say, that our S 1000 RR was feeling better from the first moment then. I think, there is quite a improvement to come tomorrow. I am half a second off of my fastest lap time here, this is going to be possible on race tires. To summarize it: I am happy. More than happy!”

Pedro Vallcaneras, Rider, 1:41,420 Minutes:
„I only went out on old tires today and concerning that I am satisfied. The bike is working perfectly, I am happy!”

Steve Mercer, Fahrer, 1:42,293 Minutes:
„Today was quite ok apart from not getting a single free corner during my stint. Anyways, I am happy. My lap time came on race pace and I think those will be the times for the race. I can improve, I know, but I didn’t want to overshoot something - it’s just the qualifying. In total I am happy!”

James Rispoli, Reserve-Rider, 1:44,150 Minutes:
„It’s my first time at Le Mans and I like the track. I had two stints today but was able to improve lap after lap. This motorbike is amazing and I am looking forward to my second qualifying tomorrow.”

Rico Penzkofer, Team Principal:
„So far, so good. Our riders are satisfied with the bike and didn’t do anything stupid today. We are on target!”
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