Team Suzuki Press Office – September 15.
Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R – 5th (UPDATED)
Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Motul has been on track today for the opening practice and qualifying sessions ahead of the final round of the 2022 Endurance World Championship; the Bol d’Or 24-Hours.
The Franco-Japanese team, currently leading the series by 23 points, set fifth fastest position aboard the GSX-R1000R at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France with team riders Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli, Kazuki Watanabe, and reserve rider Christian Iddon.
Wearing the blue armband, Black was the first to go and set his best lap of 1.53.527, the eighth fastest time of his session. Watanabe, (yellow armband), also worked hard to fine-tune the GSX-R1000R during his session, where he finished ninth with a time of 1.54.071.
Guintoli put in a best lap time of 1.53.616, which placed him in the top five of the red armband group, while Iddon was on a good pace with a time of 1.54.145 and third overall in the green armband session.
The average of the two best times set by the riders ranked Yoshimura SERT Motul fifth.
The 43 teams, in this 2022 edition of the Bol d’Or, are back on circuit tomorrow, Friday, September 16th, from 9:55 am to 11:45 am (local time) to take part in the second qualifying session to establish the final positions on the starting grid.
Damien SAULNIER – Team Manager:
“We approached this first day with an aim to prepare the bike for the race, rather than to chase the lap times. So the riders rode on race tyres. We tested two different bike configurations, and we will see at the briefing with the riders on which choice we start. Everyone did a good job, which puts us very close to the top 5. We weren’t necessarily aiming for this position, so it’s good news. Tomorrow, the riders will have qualifying tyres, and our place on the grid will be decided at that moment.”
Yohei KATO – Team Director:
“This is a special first qualifying session for us because we did not have Sylvain and Xavier during the pre-Bol practice. So we chose not to use the qualifying tyres to continue to fine tune our set up during this session. We found a good direction and, with the double of qualifying tyres, I hope we will be more competitive tomorrow.”
“Once again, our goal was to work for the race. We had several solutions to test and the results are very constructive for the race. Tomorrow we will have new assets in our game thanks to the qualifying tyres. So we are very confident, but of course the target is still the race and the title. There are a lot of points to score here, so we’ll try to get the best qualifying position possible to win some points already.”
“I didn’t use new tyres during my session. I tested a few settings to find the one where I was the fastest. I would have liked to set a better time, but I made some mistakes on my fast laps. Tomorrow the lap times should improve so I am confident.”
BOL D’OR PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE:
Key FIM EWC timings (all CET):
Friday 16 September:
09h55-10h15: Second Qualifying (Blue Rider)
10h25-10h45: Second Qualifying (Yellow Rider)
10h55-11h15: Second Qualifying (Red Rider)
11h25-11h45: Second Qualifying (Green Rider)
11h55 (approx.): Post-Qualifying press conference
Saturday 17 September:
15h00: Start of 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or
Sunday 18 September:
15h00: Finish of 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or
15h30 (approx.): Post-race press conference