Team Suzuki Press Office – September 15.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start tomorrow’s 81st Anniversary Bol d’Or 24-Hour Endurance World Championship from fourth position aboard the new GSX-R1000 Suzuki at the Paul Ricard circuit in Castellet in southern France.
After setting the fastest time in last night’s evening practice with a time of 2:00.358, SERT riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black continued to improve their pace throughout today on the 5.791km circuit close to Marseilles.
First-up, Philippe set a best lap of 1:58.893 and then Masson put-in a 1:59.266 in his qualifying stint. And then newcomer Black, obviously happy with the new Suzuki, put-in the fastest time of 1:58.842; as he did in yesterday’s initial practice and qualifying.
This gave SERT an average combined time of 1:58.987, which is just 0.378s from Pole-Sitters SRC Kawasaki.
Following yesterday’s initial practice and qualifying debut with the new 2017 GSX-R1000, Team Manager Dominique Hébrard said: “It’s a great pleasure to come back qualifying in the top-three. We know that this bike has a huge potential. It’s a brand-new generation regarding handling, motor, electronics, engine power and frame. Even if there are still some set-up adjustments to make, everything’s going well. We can see that our riders are comfortable and their times are very consistent, so it’s promising for the race; which is of course our priority.”
In the Superstock category, Suzuki’s Junior Team LMS finished sixth in class with Robin Camus, Cédric Tangre and Hugo Clere and were 18th overall aboard their GSX-R1000.
Tomorrow’s race gets underway at 15:00hrs local time (Saturday) and live coverage will be available on various global TV channels. You can also follow the race with live timing on the FIM Endurance Website: HERE
Bol d’Or Final EWC Qualifying Result: Team SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 1:58.609, 2 YART Yamaha (Yamaha) 1:58.915, 3 FCC TSR Honda France (Honda) 1:58.946, 4 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:58.987, 5 Honda Endurance Racing (Honda) 1:59.244, 6 GMT94 Yamaha (Yamaha) 1:59.635, 7 TECMAS BMW (BMW) 1:59.767, 8 EKO IVRacing BMW CSEU (BMW) 2:00.205, 9 Yamaha Viltais Experience (Yamaha) 2:00.271, 10 Voelpker NRT48 Schubert-Motors by REC (BMW) 2:00.515.