Team Suzuki Press Office – September 17.
Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R – 1st.
Reigning World Champion Suzuki will start the 84th Bol d’Or from the front of the grid after Yoshimura SERT Motul led the second qualifying session today and set a new lap record.
Xavier Simeon set a new fastest lap at the Paul Ricard circuit, with a time of 1:52.374, while earlier in the morning, on a slightly cooler track, Gregg Black had already shown the potential of the Suzuki GSX-R1000R by setting the second fastest time in his session with a 1:53.216; later Sylvain Guintoli dominated his session with a best lap of 1:52.726.
Team reserve rider Kazuki Watanabe, who first rode the circuit during the pre-Bol d’Or tests, quickly got into an excellent pace and recorded a best lap very close to that of his teammates, at 1:53.002.
By dominating qualifying, the Yoshimura SERT Motul team bagged a five-point bonus for pole position for the race that starts tomorrow Saturday, the 18th of September, at 3:00PM (local time).
Damien Saulnier – team manager SERT:
“This pole position feels great! I’ve been saying it a lot this year, but we have a riders, bike, team and tyre package that works very well. And the results are there. I’m really happy for everyone who is working with us. Today, we are enjoying this first place in qualifying. Tomorrow will be another day, we will have to stay focused and go after the points smartly to avoid mistakes. This event will be crucial for the championship, so we don’t want to miss it!”
Yohei Kato – Team Director:
“This pole position is of course fantastic, especially after the first qualifying session where the conditions were very difficult. Our performance today confirms that we have made the right settings on the bike and that we also have excellent tyres. We need to keep working to improve further to get the best possible result in the race, just as we did at the beginning of the season.”
“We knew that everything was going to happen today because of the very good weather conditions. We had a very well prepared bike. The track was a little cool for me, but my time was still very close to the rider posting the fastest time in the session. My teammates did a great job and we got the pole position. We have a bike that works very well, the riders have a good pace, and so we are all very confident for the race.”
“All the elements were there today to make a good qualification. It was the goal to go for pole position and we did it. After the preparatory test we knew that the bike had a lot of potential. I tried to do even better today and I was lucky to have a clear lap to set the new record. I am very happy about that but the most important thing is that we all posted very good lap times. The whole team really did a great job to make this performance possible.“
“Before the preparatory tests, I had never had the opportunity to ride on the current beautiful track. The last time I came to Le Castellet was more than 20 years ago! The first thing I can say about our qualifying sessions is that we are all comfortable on this bike, and we are having a lot of fun. This is a very good sign and a precious asset for the race. Now, 24 hours is a very long time. So a lot of things can happen. We are confident but we will have to stay focused until the end and not make any mistakes.”