World Endurance: YART Yamaha On Pole For 24 Hours Of Le Mans

World Endurance: YART Yamaha On Pole For 24 Hours Of Le Mans

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Editorial Note: Use the zoom tool in the bottom left corner of the PDF viewer to see the results more easily.

24 heures Motos - Overall Qualifying Classification - Overall Qualifying Classification


More, from a press release issued by Eurosport Events:


YART Yamaha picked up pole position ahead of BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team. In Superstock, Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto beat Moto Ain by a whisker to the best starting position.

YART Yamaha claimed pole position thanks to a very consistent team. All three riders – Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa – came in under the 1:37 mark on a lap of the Bugatti circuit. The Austrian factory Yamaha has dominated the proceedings at Le Mans since yesterday, and will start the 24 Heures Motos from pole at 12pm tomorrow (Saturday).

That said, the day’s best performance can be chalked up, not to YART Yamaha, but to BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. Markus Reiterberger posted the fastest qualifying lap, a 1:36.164, without however beating the record set by Randy de Puniet, a 1:35.730 lap in qualifying at the 2017 24 Heures Motos. The Belgian factory team (Kenny Foray, Ilya Mikhalchik and Markus Reiterberger) will take second position on the grid.

The leader of the provisional standings, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon), will start from 3rd just ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike di Meglio. It could be a tricky race for the Japanese Honda team, as Josh Hook was injured during practice but is expected to be allowed to race. The Honda #5 is ahead of ERC Endurance’s factory Ducati in the hands of Randy de Puniet, Julien da Costa and Louis Rossi.

VRD Igol Pierret Experiences once again managed to slip in among the favourites. In the saddle of the Yamaha #333, Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Mathieu Gines will start from 6th place on the grid ahead of reigning champions Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar.
The Kawasaki squad are without their team manager Gilles Stafler, currently recovering after a heart attack, and still getting to grips with their new Michelin tyres.

Three ambitious teams make up the rest of the Top 10 after qualifying: Tati Team Beaujolais Racing, Wójcik Racing Team and National Motos.

Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto (Kawasaki), the fastest Superstock team, will start from 11th place ahead of Moto Ain (Yamaha), the provisional leader in class, and GERT56 by GS Yuasa (BMW).

The 43rd edition of the 24 Heures Motos will be flagged off at 12noon CEST on Saturday 29 August by Dominique Meliand, the former team manager of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.




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

BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team starts the “24 Heures Motos” in Le Mans from second place on the grid.

Endurance classic is round three of the 2019/20 season in the FIM Endurance World Championship.

BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team well-positioned going into the 24-hour race.
Marc Bongers: “We must now maintain the pace for 24 hours in the race”.

Le Mans. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team has secured second place on the grid in an exciting, two-part qualifying for the “24 Heures Motos” in Le Mans (FRA). The average time of the fastest laps from each of the individual qualifying sessions was 1:36.899 minutes. The #37 BMW S 1000 RR missed out on pole position by less than two tenths of a second.

Qualifying took place on Thursday and Friday, with the weather unsettled at times. Regular riders Kenny Foray (FRA), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER) started in the “Blue”, “Yellow” and “Red” groups. Peter Hickman (GBR), the team’s fourth rider in Le Mans, lined up in the “Green” group.

Private BMW team GERT56 by GS YUASA qualified third in the Superstock class (13th overall). Stefan Kerschbaumer (AUT), Lucy Glöckner (GER) and Pepijn Bijsterbosch (NED) will be alternating in the saddle of the #56 BMW S 1000 RR. The LRP Poland team starts from 17th place overall with the #90 BMW S 1000 RR and regular riders Dominik Vincon (GER), Kamil Krzemien (POL) and Bartlomiej Lewandowski.

The 24-hour race in Le Mans marks round three of the 2019/20 season in the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC). The race starts at 12:00 on Saturday 29th August and ends at 12:00 on Sunday 30th August.

Quotes after qualifying for the “24 Heures Motos” in Le Mans.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Second place on the grid is an outstanding starting position for the 24-hour race. We showed in qualifying that we are quick in all conditions with all our riders and the BMW S 1000 RR. However, we are well aware that this is only the first step in endurance racing. We must now maintain the pace for 24 hours in the race, avoid making any mistakes, and have that little bit of luck you need when racing. In a 24-hour race, nobody can predict what might happen over such a long distance. We are definitely well-prepared and the whole BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team will do everything it can to come away with a strong result at midday on Sunday.”

Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “I am very happy with the way the practice sessions and qualifying played out. We only had one crash today, with Ilya in qualifying, but these things happen, as every rider wants to do their best and push themselves to the limit. Our BMW S 1000 RR is running smoothly, our riders are all on top form, and our fourth rider Peter Hickman was also very impressive. I think we can be very happy with second place on the grid. We are now ready for the race!”

Kenny Foray: “The qualifying was not so bad for us, especially ‘Reiti’ did an absolutely incredible lap today. For me personally, the feeling got better session after session and I feel good on the bike even if I wasn’t able to go my pace so far. But I am convinced that it will be okay during the race. We have all the ingredients for a really good race. We riders are all fast and the team is strong so I expect the best. But 24 hours are 24 hours and I think that the weather will not be the best as we expect some rain, but we will see. I am sure that we can achieve a really, really good result.”

Ilya Mikhalchik: “Overall, we have a strong package. All riders set fast lap times and have a strong pace and this is important in an endurance race. The bike also is really consistent and overall easy to ride, which is also good. So I am definitely looking forward to this long race. We will rest this night to be ready and fit tomorrow and then we try to enjoy these 24 hours of racing.”

Markus Reiterberger: “We were a bit unlucky with the weather yesterday, but we were able to recover well in the better conditions today. Kenny improved his lap time, Ilya unfortunately crashed, and I had to switch to the reserve bike – but we still managed to set the fastest time of the day. Qualifying was suspended after that, because another rider crashed. Maybe I could have gone even faster, as I felt great on the bike. Whatever, we have a good starting position for the race. The pace is there and everyone is doing a superb job. We must now ensure that we get off to a good start, avoid any crashes or mistakes, and get through the 24 hours without any technical issues.”

Peter Hickman: “It is great to be with the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. The bike itself was new for me but it has been good and I really enjoyed it. I am happy. I am here as the reserve rider and it was about to get to know the bike as much as possible in case I am needed. The team is really strong and the three regular riders all set real strong lap times and all are comfortable on the bike. The team is strong for the race, all have a good pace. Who knows what happens when we get going but fingers crossed for tomorrow and Sunday.”




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

YART Yamaha take pole position in Le Mans qualifying thriller

The YART Yamaha trio of Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz and Niccoló Canepa will start from pole position for the 43rd edition of the 24 Heures Motos at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans.

Looking to build on their session topping performance in Thursday morning’s official free practice session, YART Yamaha mastered the mixed conditions to finish the first day of qualifying action at the top of the timesheets, +1.317s clear of the chasing pack.

With rain disrupting Thursday’s running, the team knew that the second qualifying sessions held on Friday would be crucial to maintain their top spot.

Hanika was first on track and improved his time by +1.590s compared to his best effort on Thursday, setting a 1:36.895 which matched their best time of the weekend. Attention then then turned to German rider Marvin Fritz who stormed to the top of the timesheets by +0.843s. The 1:36.517s set by the 2016 IDM Superbike champion meant that YART Yamaha was in prime position to hold the lead and claim pole position.

Canepa was the third rider to take to the track; the Italian’s session was interrupted due to a red flag incident when the 2017 World Endurance champion sat at the top of the timesheets. However, he then slipped to second and failed to improve his time on his final run, but it was enough to secure pole for the team.

With Canepa’s times and those of his team-mates, YART secured pole by 0.193s and will start ahead of the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.

The team head into Saturday’s race full of confidence, with all three riders showing fast and consistent pace, all lapping at a similar pace during their long runs. They also showed consistently quick pace throughout Thursday’s night practice, finishing the session on top.

The Wojcik Racing Team also had a strong qualifying session. Gino Rea, Axel Maurin and Broc Parkes set the ninth fastest time with an average of 1:38.170, +1.464s off their fellow Yamaha squad. Meanwhile, TEAM MOTO AIN will start 12th as they look extend their advantage over the Wojcik team at the top of the independent championship standings and their lead in the FIM World Cup-Teams classification.

YART’s pole position sees them gain an extra five championship points, moving them closer to the top three in the championship on 48 points.

The 43rd edition of the 24 Heures Motos will get underway tomorrow at 12:00 local time with YART Yamaha looking to turn pole into their first win at the French event since 2009.


Karel Hanika  – Time – 1:36.895  

“We have had a good start to the weekend. The setup of the bike is still not at 100%, but we will work on that tonight and during the warm up tomorrow. I did a good lap in qualifying and Marvin also did a great job. Niccoló did enough to secure pole in his session, so we then focused on the race setup. Michael Laverty is helping us a lot with his experience and comments which has helped us take pole position, but the work comes tomorrow at 12 o’clock, but we’ll make sure we do everything we can to bring the bike to the finish and secure points.”


Marvin Fritz – Time – 1:36.517

“We’re very happy to take pole position because we have struggled a bit with the set-up of the bike. Even with the issues, we have faced we’ve been able to finish on top in most sessions. The team is working at 110%, and my team-mates are very fast. We had a really good qualifying session; we all topped our groups, but we still need to figure out the problem with our bike. We are satisfied with the pace, and I think our strongest point will be during the night and open the gap to the other teams. After picking up five points today, our main target is to score as many points in the race.”


Niccoló Canepa – Time – 1:36.708

“We are pleased about taking pole position because all three of us are fast and at a similar pace. We still need to work on the bike to improve our race pace, but it gives us confidence to top almost every session so far and to take pole position. We are all very happy and very satisfied with the work done by the team, and I’m confident we can make another step with the bike tomorrow and fight for the victory at the end of the 24 hours.”


Mandy Kainz – YART Yamaha, Team Manager  
“I’m very pleased to take another pole position in Le Mans and take five extra points in the championship and to close the gap to the leader. We suffered a little bit in qualifying and couldn’t show our full potential, but the performance we put in was good enough for pole and puts us in a good position for the race. This will be the first 24-hour event for the new R1 as we haven’t been able to put in a long-distance test session, so the race for us will be the test, but we’re happy with the pace and think we can fight for the top step.”




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


Final Qualifying: SERT – GSX-R1000 (1:37.337) – 3rd.

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start tomorrow’s 43rd Edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours Endurance World Championship third round from third position on the grid following today’s final qualifying in France.

SERT riders and current championship leaders Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon set a time of 1’37.337 based on their combined times.

During yesterday’s first qualifying session, which took place under tricky and changing weather conditions, the team had already demonstrated some of its potential with the fifth fastest time of the day. This afternoon, with better weather conditions, Team Manager Damien Saulnier’s crew confirmed their great form by upping their performance levels: Of the trio, Masson set the best lap time of 1’37.254. Black also showed great control and patience until the end of his session with the third fastest time in his qualifying group (1’37.488) and SERT’s new team member Xavier Siméon – in his first race for the team – was on a strong pace from the start of his qualifying session, steadily improving his performance to log a time of 1’37.355.

The start of this third round of the FIM EWC World Championship race is scheduled tomorrow at noon (12:00 hrs CEST). Eurosport will provide live coverage of the entire race in more than 55 countries. Full live coverage of the race will also be available on the Eurosport digital platform, in English and in French.

Said Team Manager Damien Saulnier: “Following qualification, the official BMW team takes one point away from us, but we keep a 14-point lead. I am still very satisfied with the performances of our riders, but beyond the lap times, it is the atmosphere inside the team that makes me the happiest. There is true teamwork, and cooperation between the riders. It’s extremely productive and it’s paying off. I would also like to thank the engineers from Suzuki in Japan for being in permanent contact with us. They provide us with a great support.”

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