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Sep 14, 2018

World Endurance: SRC Kawasaki Takes Pole Position For Bol d'Or 24-Hour Race In France

Randy de Puniet (11) on the SRC Kawasaki ZX-10RR at Paul Ricard Circuit.


Team SRC Kawasaki France has picked up pole at the Bol d’Or ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France and YART Yamaha following a hotly contested second qualifying session.

Thanks to Randy de Puniet setting yet another lap record on the Paul Ricard circuit (a 1:54.007), Jérémy Guarnoni stepping up his performance to come in under the 1:55 mark and David Checa making strong progress, Team SRC Kawasaki France took pole position on the starting grid of the 82nd Bol d’Or.

Other than the prestige of seeing its name at the top of the timesheets, the pole position enabled Team SRC Kawasaki France to score 5 points. The new 2018-2019 FIM EWC rules state that a bonus 5 to 1 points will be awarded to the top 5 teams on the starting grid.

Team SRC Kawasaki France has thereby strengthened its position as the favourite for the win. While Randy de Puniet posted his fastest lap using qualifying tyres, David Checa, who is still getting to grips with the Kawasaki, admits he was able to up his performance with the help of race tyres.

Japanese team F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike Di Meglio narrowly edged out YART Yamaha to 2nd spot on the grid. The YART riders Broc Parkes, Niccolò Canepa and Marvin Fritz had been fastest in yesterday’s first qualifying.

Next up on the grid is ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance, still well placed for the win, ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, Honda Endurance Racing, Wepol Racing (Yamaha) and Yamaha Viltaïs Pierret Experiences, who will have to replace Axel Maurin with Vincent Lonbois because Maurin sustained an injury during his qualifying session this morning.

The first Superstock bike on the grid is in 9th place. Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto confirmed its ambitions this morning with riders Enzo Boulom, Chris Leesch and Kevin Manfredi. Their Kawasaki #33 is ahead of Superstock rivals Gert56 (BMW) and Junior Team LMS Suzuki.

The Bol d’Or will be flagged off tomorrow (Saturday) at 3pm CEST.

Don’t miss out on all the action: follow the race on the website, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and via the live timing and the FIM EWC mobile app.

More, from a press release issued by Honda Pro Racing:

F.C.C. TSR Honda France and Honda Endurance Racing in the Bol d’Or mix

Bol d’Or

Circuit Paul Ricard, France

Qualifying for the Bol d’Or has taken place at Circuit Paul Ricard as the opening round of the 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship roared into action this week.

With sunshine and scorching temperatures at the 5.673km circuit, conditions were near perfect for today’s final qualifying session, ahead of tomorrow’s 24-hour race.

Over highly competitive qualifying sessions, reigning World Champions F.C.C. TSR Honda France with riders Freddy Foray, Mike Di Meglio and Josh Hook scored the second fastest time (1:55.235) aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, missing out on pole position by just 0.330s.

The Honda Endurance Racing team with Sébastien Gimbert, Gregory LeBlanc and Erwan Nigon also enjoyed a strong qualifying, where they finished sixth fastest overall (1:55.900).

Further Honda teams lining up for the Bol d’Or include National Motos who start 23rd, RAC41 39th and 41st are the Zuff Racing Team. The teams are part of a 59-strong field that tomorrow will race for 24 hours.

The Bol d’Or gets underway on Saturday 15 September at 1500hrs local time (GMT+1) and finishes at 1500hrs on Sunday 16 September.

For all information and news on the race, follow @HondaProRacing on Twitter.

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


SERT – EWC Class – 5th

Junior Team LMS – SST Class – 3rd

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start from fifth position of 59 teams on the grid for tomorrow’s opening round of the 2018-2019 Endurance World Championship, the Bol d’Or 24 Hour race at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France.

Today in qualifying, SERT riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black posted a time of 1:55.742 around the new 5.673 km circuit in Le Castellet aboard the new GSX-R1000.

Philippe set a best-lap of 1:55.678, Masson a 1:55.927, with Black putting-in the quickest individual time of the team of 1:55.623, which put the 15-times EWC World Champions just 0.837s from Pole Position when all the individual times were averaged-out.

In the Superstock class, Junior Team LMS qualified third in class aboard their GSX-R1000, and 13th overall, with riders Hugo Clere, Alex Sarrabayrouse and Louis Rossi posting a combined lap-time of 1:57.334.

Said SERT Team Manager Dominique Méliand: “We did some very constructive work and finally we’re not so far from the best today. But we still have to go on improving. We must not forget that we are working on a new bike, and it takes time to be on the top. It took three years for our competitors to develop theirs. We are still in a development phase.”

Tomorrow’s race gets underway at 3pm local time, CEST, and live coverage is available on various global TV stations.

However, live timing is available on the FIM Endurance