World Endurance: YART Beats BMW To 12-Hour Pole At Estoril (Updated)

World Endurance: YART Beats BMW To 12-Hour Pole At Estoril (Updated)

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By FIM Endurance World Championship


YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team dominated the second qualifying session and took top spot on the starting grid of the 12 Hours of Estoril ahead of BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Yoshimura SERT Motul. The quickest Superstock, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers, is 9th on the starting grid.

YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team were very strong this morning in the second qualifying session. Karel Hanika beat the record set in qualifying by Markus Reiterberger in 2020. The factory Yamaha’s Czech rider completed an impressive 1:37.674 fastest lap just ahead of his teammate Marvin Fritz with a 1:37.857. They were the only two riders to come in under the 1:38 mark in these sessions.

YART riders celebrate World Endurance pole position at Estoril. Photo courtesy FIM.
YART riders celebrate World Endurance pole position at Estoril. Photo courtesy FIM.

The average of the team’s three fastest times saw YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team dominate with nearly a one-second lead over BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Yoshimura SERT Motul.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France will start from 4th ahead of Tati Team Beringer Racing, who are among the leaders despite the absence of Alan Techer, and VRD Igol Experiences. The latter two, both independent teams, are ahead of two factory teams, ERC Endurance-Ducati and Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar.

In Superstock, a Kawasaki led the field. The first in class on the starting grid, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers, will start from 9th position tomorrow (Saturday) ahead of Moto Ain, who held back by crashes. Other rivals for the Superstock win who are well placed on the grid are Team 33 Louit April Moto, Wójcik Racing Team and National Motos.

Following crashes in practice yesterday (Thursday), two riders have had to withdraw due to injuries. Dominik Vincon will be replaced by Nigel Walraven in the saddle of Team LRP Poland’s BMW. As for Players, Axel Aynié and Arnaud de Kimpe will have to run the 12-hour race as a twosome in the absence of Matthieu Thibault.

The 12 Hours of Estoril will be flagged off at 9am local time on Saturday in Portugal.


More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

FIM EWC: Second on the grid for BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team at 12 Hours of Estoril.

Second event of the season in the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship.
Xavi Forés, Markus Reiterberger and Kenny Foray finish in second place in combined qualifying with the #37 BMW M 1000 RR.
Race in Estoril gets underway at 9 a.m. local time on Saturday.

Estoril. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team will start the 12-hour race in Estoril (PO), the second round of the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC), from second on the grid with the #37 BMW M 1000 RR. In the two-part qualifying session on Thursday and Friday, the three riders Xavi Forés (ESP), Markus Reiterberger (GER) and Kenny Foray (FRA) achieved an average lap time of 1:38,773 minutes, qualifying in second place.

After testing on Tuesday, the “12 Hours of Estoril” officially got underway with the free practice session at lunchtime on Thursday. Reiterberger got the best time of 1:39.094 minutes with the #37 M RR. Forés beat this in qualifying, securing the best time of the day with a time of 1:38.707 minutes. The average times of the best times of each of a team’s riders are used to calculate the starting positions.

The 12-hour race in Estoril gets underway at 9.00 a.m. local time (10.00 a.m. CEST) on Saturday (17th July). The privateer BMW Team LRP Poland will start the race from 14th on the grid with their #90 BMW S 1000 RR.

Quotes after qualifying for the ‘12 Hours of Estoril’.

Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “I am quite happy about qualifying. All three riders did a very good job. Xavi and Markus both rode 1:38 times, which was very strong, and also Kenny did a very good job. He went out in the end when there was oil on the track, but still bettered his lap time. I am especially very happy about the race pace, and that is most important. We are among the frontrunners, all looks good, the team atmosphere is good. I expect an interesting fight for the first three places.”

Markus Reiterberger: “We can be pleased with the qualifying sessions. We all rode on the same set of tyres yesterday. Xavi got a fantastic time, and then Kenny and I were on used tyres, but still did well. It was cooler this morning and everyone was using new tyres. All three of us improved on our times. Second place is incredibly important for the start. Now we will come up with a good strategy for tomorrow. No doubt it will be a tough, long, hot race. But we are all feeling good and are happy with the lap times and the feeling on the bike. Thanks go to the team, and now it’s time to go full throttle in the race.”

Xavi Forés: “It was a positive qualifying for us because all three of us riders have been more or less on the same pace, which is quite good for the race. Starting from second position is actually quite good because we have a good pace for the entire race distance and the tyre life also has been quite good. We will try to push hard, to fight for the win, to achieve a strong result for the team and to collect important points for the championship.”

Kenny Foray: “It was a good qualifying, even if I was not totally satisfied with my second session. It was difficult to manage the tyre and I didn’t have a clear lap. But overall we are happy with the race pace and the feeling with the race tyre. So for me, I am confident for tomorrow. As we always say: The race is tomorrow, but it is good to secure second place in qualifying.”


More, from a press release issued by Suzuki Racing:


Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R – (1.38.822) – 3rd.

The Yoshimura SERT Motul Suzuki team will start the 12 Hours of Estoril Endurance World Championship second round from third position on the starting grid tomorrow.

After setting the third fastest provisional time in yesterday’s first qualifying session, the EWC leaders confirmed its status as a strong contender for victory.

Gregg Black was the first to set off this morning at 9:00 am (local time) on the Portuguese track, under scorching sun and already high temperatures. Increasingly at ease with this new GSX-R1000R, now fitted with Bridgestone tyres, the French rider will know how to benefit from the work carried out in recent days by the whole team. He improved his times from yesterday and finished third in his session with a time of 1.39.295.

Xavier Simeon followed the same path as his teammate. He made his effort at the end of the session and recorded a fast lap at 1.38.738, which was also the third best time of his session.

When Sylvain Guintoli entered the track, the outside temperature had risen again. But the Bridgestone tyres worked very well in these conditions. The Suzuki MotoGP test and development rider showed his talent in the very last lap by concluding these qualifications with an exceptional time of 1.38.434.

On the average of the three best times of the team (1.38.822), the Yoshimura SERT Motul ranks third on the timesheet. It is therefore from this ambush position that the Suzuki #1 will set off tomorrow at 9:00am (local time), at the start of the 12 Hours of Estoril.

Damien Saulnier – Team Manager SERT:

“The whole team kept improving over the week, which is very positive. Our three riders had the same feelings on the bike and that allowed us to progress quickly. We knew that the competition was going to be very tough during practice and our 3rd place in qualifying is really stimulating. We haven’t raced since Le Mans and feeling good in practice gives us a lot of hope for the race. The tyres work well, the bike is both pleasant to ride and performs well, the riders are in top form, so everything is in place for a great race where our goal will be to score as many points as possible.”

Yohei Kato – Yoshimura SERT Motul Suzuki Director:

“I discovered the Estoril circuit this week. It’s a really nice track but I was surprised by the strong gusts of wind the first few days! Today the conditions were much better. It remains a tricky track for the set-up of the bike and we have to move forward step by step. Of course, we were hoping to do better in qualifying and be even closer to pole position, but there was so much work to be done to get the bike ready that this 3rd place is very promising.”

Xavier Siméon:

“We started without any reference with the Bridgestone tyres. So compared to Le Mans, the testing was a bit more difficult. We needed a lot of time to set up the bike but in the last qualifying session the team took a step forward. There are still some small details to fix and we will work on them, but we are on the right way.”

Sylvain Guintoli:

“Our work paid off in the last qualifying session. There are still improvements to be made on the bike and we are progressing gradually. By scoring the 3rd best time, we can see that we are already performing well and that’s really encouraging. We have to keep working to make another small step forward for tomorrow’s race where we will of course fight for a podium.”

Gregg Black:

“We arrived in Portugal without having done any tests, unlike in Le Mans. So we discovered our bike with its new tyres in rather difficult climatic conditions because there was a lot of wind and since yesterday, a strong heat. So we had to work very hard. But our team is solid, experienced and in the race we will be there!”



Xavier Simeon on the Yoshimura SERT Motul GSX-R1000R. Photo courtesy SERT.
Xavier Simeon on the Yoshimura SERT Motul GSX-R1000R. Photo courtesy SERT.


More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing:

Fourth place start for F.C.C. TSR Honda France at the 12 Hours of Estoril

F.C.C. TSR Honda France will start from fourth place on the grid for the 12 Hours of Estoril, the second round of the FIM World Endurance Championship, which gets underway tomorrow (17 July).

Fourth place start for F.C.C. TSR Honda France at the 12 Hours of Estoril

With scorching temperatures at the circuit of Estoril, Honda’s endurance specialists Josh Hook, Mike Di Meglio, and Yuki Takahashi claimed the fourth fastest time (1:39.309) aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, following a two-part qualifying across Thursday and Friday.

During Thursday’s sessions, the lap times of the Fireblade were not what the team expected, but F.C.C. TSR Honda France push hard and did a great job to turn around the bike during night practice, and the Honda squad improved their times, obtaining a good result for tomorrow’s starting grid.

Honda’s Superstock contenders National Motos, will start from 13th position tomorrow (1:41.233). The team’s feeling is very positive although the qualifying results are not the desired ones, but Guillaume Antiga, Stéphane Égea and Enzo Boulom are very confident of achieving another podium during the 12-hour race.

Privateers RAC 41 Chromeburner will start the race from 16th place (1:41.531), happy with the set-up of the Fireblade, the team are convinced of a good finish with the bike showing good race pace.

The 12 Hours of Estoril gets underway at 9.00 am local time (10.00 am CEST) on Saturday 17th July.

Josh Hook 5, F.C.C. TSR Honda France: ‘We made big improvements since yesterday and the test earlier in the week. In the last session of the qualifying today, Mike made a big step. We still have to test a few new things during the warm up this afternoon, especially the hard tire and in these hot conditions. We are a lot closer where we need to be, so it is positive, we are on the right direction.’

Mike Di Meglio 5, F.C.C. TSR Honda France: ‘I’m really happy with our progress. It’s been very hard all week to find the right solution. We went back to a base we used to know and then mainly worked on a few things to get a feeling and set-up we were all happy with, thanks to these new settings, I managed to ride faster and improve my lap timing from last year. I pushed less with used tyres and am not so far on the lap times, so we are progressing well; I’m very happy. It’s positive for the race.’

Yuki Takahashi 5, F.C.C. TSR Honda France: ‘Until yesterday, we had difficulties in achieving good lap times, but in the night session the team worked very hard and we found the solutions that allowed us to be faster. This morning Josh set a better time, I tried to do my best to improve my time as well and I’m very glad I did it. We still have to work to be more consistent but it is very positive for the team. We will use the warm up to enhance our settings so that we can fight ahead during the race.’


12 Hours of Estoril - Race Starting Grid - Provisional Starting Grid

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