Defending World Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will line-up on the grid for the opening round of the 2014 FIM Endurance World Championship from third-position at Magny-Cours for the 78th Bol d’Or 24-Hours race in France tomorrow.
Team riders Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and new team rider Erwan Nigon put the French team’s Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 to a combined qualification-time of 1:41.130; just-over 300ths-of-a second off Pole Position behind Honda Racing’s Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastien Gimbert.
Philippe, however, was one of only three riders to dip-below the 1:41.00 mark; his best individual lap-time of 1:40.517 only being bettered by Da Costa (1:40.382), while second-placed grid team - Yamaha GMT 94 rider David Checa - posted the third-best lap-time of 1:40.555 as conditions worsened at the Nevers Circuit and most times were not improved from yesterday’s opening practices and first qualifying session.
In the Superstock class, Junior Team LMS Suzuki’s Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black took fourth place overall on the grid behind the top teams with an average time of just-over 1.1-seconds behind the fastest qualifier onboard its Superstock-spec GSX-R1000. Junior Team LMS is ahead of BMW-mounted Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team, Kawasaki’s Hall Motos 02 and the Qatar Endurance Racing Team in eighth, ninth and 10th respectively.
Team R2CL Suzuki riders Guy Martin, Gwen Giabbani and Gareth Jones are in 13th position overall aboard its GSX-R1000 with a time of 1:43.133, behind Suzuki-mounted Team Motors Events April Moto’s Gregory Fastre, Michael Savary and James Storrar (1:43.081).
Warm-up is from 10:30 tomorrow morning (local time) with the start of the Bol d’Or 24-Hour event starting at 15:00. You can also follow with various global satellite TV channels, but can watch live on www.FIM-live.com for live video within TV schedules, or for live Tweets constantly.
78th Bol d’Or Qualifying: 1 Honda Racing – Da Costa/ F. Foray/ Gimbert (Honda) 1:40.802, 2 Yamaha GMT 94 – Checa/ K. Foray/ Gines (Yamaha) + 0.117, 3 SERT – Vincent Philippe/ Anthony Delhalle/ Erwan Nigon (Suzuki GSX-R1000) + 0.328, 4 Junior Team LMS Suzuki – Baptiste Guittet/ Etienne Masson/ Gregg Black (Suzuki GSX-R1000) + 1.154, 5 National Motos – Tizon/ Four/ Junod (Honda) + 1.212, 6 Team Bolliger Switzerland – Saiger/ Stamm/ Sutter (Kawasaki) + 1.515, 7 Monster Energy YART – Maxwell/ Olson/ Jerman (Yamaha) + 1.568, 8 Penz13.com Franks Autowelt – Pridmore/ Vallcaneras/ Mackels (BMW) + 1.800, 9 Hall Motos 02 – Tangre/ Hedelin/ De Carolis (Kawasaki) + 2.089, 10 Qatar Endurance Racing Team – A Cudlin/ Al Naimi/ Prinz (Kawasaki) + 2.133.