More, from a press release issued by Eurosport Events:
YART YAMAHA SEAL POLE POSITION AT ESTORIL
The factory Yamaha team will start the 12 Hours of Estoril from pole. A fierce battle raged on the Portuguese circuit this morning, but YART Yamaha held on to the lead in qualifying ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France and BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team.
With all three riders coming in under the 1:39 mark in qualifying, YART Yamaha were the fastest and most consistent line-up at Estoril this morning. Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa are the favourites at the 12 Hours of Estoril, the final of the FIM Endurance World Championship. The race start has been brought forward to 8am local time.
Japanese team F.C.C. TSR Honda France managed to keep second place on the grid after riders Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike di Meglio staved off attacks by BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team.
The factory BMW team’s Markus Reiterberger posted the new fastest lap, a 1:38.447. Although Kenny Foray and Peter Hickman also improved on yesterday’s performances, the Belgian BMW team finished a few tenths of a second behind the Honda to remain in third place on the starting grid.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team rejoined the quartet of factory teams in the lead with riders Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon. The Suzuki team managed to beat Wójcik Racing Team to fourth place. The Polish Yamaha-mounted team with Gino Rea, Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morais in the saddle confirmed their status as best independent team ahead of VRD Igol Pierret Experiences (Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Nico Terol).
ERC Endurance made further progress on their Ducati Panigale, and will start from seventh place ahead of Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar. The reigning champions, who switched to a new tyre supplier at the 24 Heures Motos, are evidently still seeking to optimize the settings of their ZX-10RR for the Michelin tyres.
National Motos and the top Superstock team Moto Ain round off the 12 Hours of Estoril starting grid Top 10.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Team Claim Pole Position for Estoril 12-Hour
The Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC trio of Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz and Niccoló Canepa will start from pole position for the Estoril 12 Hour after a dominant qualifying performance.
The team have been the squad to beat so far, topping every session held at the 2.5-mile Portuguese circuit, and that was once again the case in qualifying.
The two-part qualifying got underway on Thursday afternoon, with YART instantly putting themselves in contention with Hanika finishing the opening session second fastest. The 1:39.605 set by the Czech rider was only +0.601s from the leaders, with more pace left in the bike.
German rider, Fritz, then fired the team to the top of the timesheets. The former IDM Superbike champion had a strong start to his 20-minute session, setting the fastest time on his first flying lap. The 27-year-old was the first rider to break the 1:38 barrier, setting a 1:38.778, +0.957s quicker than the chasing pack, handing the team the advantage ahead of the third and final session, with Canepa the final rider to qualify.
His efforts were good enough to secure provisional pole at nightfall; the first Italian FIM EWC Champion finished the session in third, +0.729s behind the pacesetter, but helped secure the top position as the first qualifying session ended.
As the YART YZF-R1 roared back into action for Friday morning’s second and final set of qualifying sessions, the team knew they had to improve to claim the five extra championship points with just one-tenth separating first and second on the timesheets.
Once again, Czech rider, Karel Hanika, was the first YART rider on track but chose to sit out the opening few minutes to find a clear circuit. The decision paid off with Hanika immediately setting the pace. A 1:39.477 was already two-tenths quicker than his best efforts on Thursday, but he later improved to a 1:38.660, finishing second, just two tenths from the top time.
With two riders in the 1:38’s, Fritz chose to sit out the session, carrying his impressive Thursday time into Friday. With the German happy with his time, Canepa was the final rider to take to the track.
Like Hanika, the Italian’s first few laps were immediately faster than his Thursday time, setting a 1:39.193 on his fourth flying lap. The 2016/2017 FIM EWC Champion opted to stay on track for the full session and later improved his lap time to join team-mates Hanika and Fritz in the 1:38s, with YART the only team with all three riders to set sub-39 lap times. Canepa’s 1:38.929 put him at the top of the timesheets by +0.235s, assisting the team in taking another pole position this season.
YART Yamaha ended the qualifying session +0.380s ahead of the F.C.C TSR Honda and BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team in third.
The Wojcik Racing Team also had a strong qualifying, Gino Rea, Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morais put their YZF-R1 in fifth position as they prepare to battle for the Independent title this weekend.
Joining them in that battle is the Moto AIN Team. Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clere will start tenth, finishing as the fastest Superstock team.
The 12-hour of Estoril will get underway on Saturday at a slightly earlier time of 08:00 and finishes at 20:00 local time.
Karel Hanika, Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Team – Time: 1:38.660
“Since the start of the week we’ve felt really strong, we’ve had to change a few things to the bike and try different tyres to find the perfect option for the race. It seems step by step we’re getting there, Marvin put together a great lap time yesterday and then myself and Niccoló were able to improve our times this morning to keep pole.
“It will be important not to make a mistake in the race, and I will try to do my best and avoid making the same mistake I made in Le Mans and bring the bike home in first position.”
Marvin Fritz, Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Team – Time: 1:38.778
“We worked hard from the beginning to find a good set up, everything is working well, and we were the only team to have all three riders in the 1:38s, which is really good for the race. We are confident for tomorrow’s race, the important thing will be not to make any mistakes during the 12 hours, but like I said the good thing is we have three really strong riders which means that we can fight for the win.
“Estoril was a fairly easy track for me to learn, it has a bit of everything which is hard for the body, but I really enjoy riding here.”
Niccoló Canepa, Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Team – Time: 1:38.929
“I was struggling a lot with the set-up of the bike, the one-lap pace was good, but I was struggling with the race pace. Luckily, we were able to improve the feeling with the bike overnight, which allowed me to go faster and more consistent in the race runs, so I think I’ll be good for tomorrow’s race.
“We’re still not sure about the tyres as the stints are very long, and the track is very demanding for the rear tyre, but it will be the same for everyone, so we just have to manage everything, and I think we can be really strong and fight for the victory.”
Mandy Kainz – Team Manager, Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Team
“The performance of the team, bike and tyres were amazing, we are the only team with all riders in the 1:38s, so all three guys are very consistent and good on the bike. So far, the week has been good, so we’re looking forward to the race.
“The Pole is nice because we can close the gap a little bit to the leaders, but with three pole positions in four races, we will have to see what happens. We will fight for the win and give everything we have.”
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
Third on the grid for the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team at the FIM EWC season finale at Estoril.
Markus Reiterberger, Kenny Foray und Peter Hickman start the FIM Endurance World Championship in Portugal at the front.
Markus Reiterberger sets the fastest time of all qualifying sessions and a new lap record with the #37 BMW S 1000 RR.
‘12 Hours of Estoril’ starts on Saturday at 08:00 Hrs local time.
Estoril. At the 2019/20 FIM Endurance World Championship finale, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team is one of the absolute top teams. In qualifying, Markus Reiterberger (GER), Kenny Foray (FRA) and Peter Hickman (GBR) secured third on the grid for the ‘12 Hours of Estoril’ (POR) with the #37 BMW S 1000 RR. The average time of the fastest laps from each of the individual qualifying sessions was 1:39.370 minutes.
Qualifying on the 4.182 kilometre ‘Circuito do Estoril’ was held in six separate sessions on Thursday and Friday. Each of the three riders completed two 20-minute sessions. It was Reiterberger who set the absolute best qualifying time and a new lap record with the # 37 RR. After he had already been the fastest in his group on Thursday, ‘Reiti’ stepped up on Friday morning and set the fastest time in all qualifying sessions with the new record of 1: 38.447 minutes.
The ‘12 Hours of Estoril’ will start on Saturday at 08:00 local time and end at 20:00.
Quotes after qualifying at Estoril.
Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “I am happy with qualifying. It is a really good result. We are third, only a few tenths of a second behind second place. I think it was the maximum we could get. With Markus, we set the absolute best lap time so we are very happy. Our three riders also fit together very well and we found a very good set-up for our BMW S 1000 RR. I think we are well prepared for the race. We will give everything and hope for a very good result on the podium.”
Markus Reiterberger: “We can be very happy with qualifying. Already yesterday, all three of us did strong laps. We then have further improved the bike for today and I managed to do some really great laps. To set a new lap record is obviously fantastic. Kenny and ‘Hicky’ both also further improved today. We are very confident and looking forward to the race. I think that we can do a good job and hope that we have a clean, trouble-free race. We for sure aim for the podium – or maybe even more.”
Kenny Foray: “Qualifying was not so bad. I still don’t feel exactly like I want to on the bike but I try to find a good feeling and it improved during qualifying and I had more confidence on the bike. I am happy for that. Now we will see how the race will go. We have a good pace and I think we can do a good job. I am looking forward to the race and hope for a good result.”
Peter Hickman: “Qualifying was really good. We’ve made a further big step forward with the bike for today so we all were over half a second faster, which is good. Everyone is really, really happy. My feeling with the bike is good, the circuit is awesome and I absolutely love it. I really enjoy riding around here. The team is doing a fantastic job and we are looking forward to racing tomorrow. I think we are in with a good shout. We qualified third, really close to the front, so we will wait and see what happens.”