Team Suzuki Press Office – April 13.
The Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) Motul heads to the opening round of the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship, at Le Mans this weekend the 16th and 17th of April, fully motivated and determined to defend its world championship title.
The 24 Heures Motos was the first outing last year for the newly-formed Yoshimura and SERT partnership, and their EWC championship onslaught got off to a perfect start. The reliability of the factory Suzuki GSX-R1000R, race skill of the riders and expertise of the crew all combined to take the team to an emphatic victory, setting them up for the season ahead.
Fast forward to 2022 and Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and Xavier Simeon return to the 4.185km Bugatti Circuit for the 45th edition of the event as World Champions, with the team they know so well, and buoyed by positive feedback from early season testing. Another bonus is that, after a two-year hiatus, fans will return to pack out the grandstands.
Tuesday’s free practice yesterday, the 12th of April, ahead of qualifying, and the race weekend itself, provided the riders with the opportunity to experience both dry and wet testing conditions.
Xavier Siméon: “We had a good pace and a good feeling with the bike. The bike worked well in the wet conditions. Looking ahead to the weekend, for sure, our opponents will be very competitive. It’s obviously a long race, and it will be a tough race, but we are prepared and ready to fight. We aim to confirm our win from last year.”
Gregg Black: “It was a good first day and, after my crash in the pre-test at Le Mans, I felt like I was getting back step by step. The wet sessions were useful to set up the bike for such conditions, even though we hope for dry race conditions. Qualifying should be okay for us and I feel positive for the rest of the week.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “We’ve enjoyed valuable testing in the dry and wet and managed to refine everything for the race. We’ve worked with slick tyres and different specs and understand what we’re going to need for changing temperatures. In the free practice wet session we discovered some interesting stuff with the electronics. Overall, I’m very happy with the test and very much looking forward to the race. I believe we are ready and just need to engage the fighting spirit, take it head on and just go for it.”
EWC official Qualifying 1 will take place on Thursday the 14th of April in the afternoon, followed by night practice. Qualifying 2 and starting positions will be determined on Friday. The 24-hour race will be flagged off at 3pm local time on Saturday the 16th of April 2022.