Team Suzuki Press Office – September 25.
SERT: GSX-R1000 – 1’40.142 – 4th
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start tomorrow’s final round of the 2019-2020 Endurance World Championship from fourth position following final qualifying at the Estoril Circuit in Portugal.
The 15-time EWC Champions and current series leaders set a combined time of 1’40.142 with riders Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon aboard the GSX-R1000 and are well placed for the 12 Hours of Estoril.
After finishing fifth in yesterday’s first qualifying session, the SERT riders produced their best efforts today to move further up in the rankings. During this morning’s final qualifying sessions, which took place from 9:00 to 10:20, the #2 Suzuki riders set an average time of 1’40.142, based on the combination of their respective fastest times.
Following a minor crash yesterday, Masson showed that he had fully recovered aboard the GSX-R1000. As his confidence was back, he took advantage of the good weather conditions and improved his lap time significantly to finish the session with a time of 1’40.162. Simeon also performed well on the Portuguese circuit with a 1’39.770, although the performance did not equal the Belgian rider’s time from yesterday (1’39.521). Black was the strongest SERT rider today. As soon as he got on track, he took the provisional best time of his session as he pushed in all the sectors of the circuit and produced a second effort just a minute before the end and set a lap of 1’39.480, which was the second fastest time of the session.
Due to the lack of lighting on the Portuguese track, the race direction has decided to advance the start of the race by 30 minutes for the riders’ safety. Therefore, the race will get underway this Saturday September 26th at 8:00 local time (9:00 CET).
This final round of the 2019/ 2020 FIM EWC World Championship will be live on the international Eurosport 2 channel; in addition, a full live coverage will be available on Eurosport’s digital platform.
Damien Saulnier – Team Manager:
“Our lead in the championship is important but not final. For this ultimate round, we will have to be careful, unlike our competitors who will have to give it all. During the practices, we were aiming for the Top 5, so this fourth place satisfies me. We are aware that anything can happen during the race so we will have to be careful until the chequered flag waves off. Of course, there will be less bikes on track than usual, but there are also big level differences. And in Estoril, some sections have a single lane, so the riders will have to stay very focused until the last minute.”