Le Mans 24 Hours Qualifying
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 midday on 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. The BMW 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. Australian Broc Parkes is part of the Wójcik Racing Team and reported that he was caught up in traffic while looking to set a time on soft tyres and will start from ninth on the grid.
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).