Team Suzuki Press Office – May 10.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team – EWC – 5th
Junior Team LMS Suzuki – SST – 5th
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) has been on track today for the third round of the Endurance World Championship, the Slovakia Ring 8 Hours in Slovakia on Saturday, and after initial practice sessions this morning – where they set the sixth-fastest time – put the 2018 GSX-R1000 into fifth position in the opening qualifying session this afternoon.
Following a frustrating performance at the Le Mans 24 Hour race in France last month where the 15-times EWC Champions had to fight back from some technical issues, and ultimately scored no points after trying so hard, riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black are fired-up and upped the pace this afternoon – a similar story to Junior Team LMS Suzuki, who were also sixth in practice and then moved-up to fifth in the Superstock class rankings aboard their GSX-R1000 this afternoon.
SERT put in a combined time of 2:04.943 in today’s Qualifying session, just 0.591 off provisional Pole. It was Black who set the fastest lap this afternoon with a 2:04.641, while Masson scored a 2:05.219 and Philippe a 2:04.97: All consistent and closely-paced lap-times that will bode well for the race on Saturday, that has been moved back two hours to a 12:30hrs start time at the request of the riders for safety reasons because of some of the circuit lighting not being strong enough.
In Superstock, Junior Team LMS Suzuki – who are based in the same headquarters in Le Mans – were 18th overall with a time of 2:07.517, and fifth in class. Thanks to two podiums in a row in both the Le Mans and Bol d’Or opening rounds, riders Hugo Clère, Alex Sarrabayrouse and Louis Rossi are currently second the FIM World Cup Championship – and one of the favourites for the race that has attracted a total of 34 teams.
SLOVAKIA RING CIRCUIT INFORMATION:
Slovakia Ring Circuit is located near the village of Orechová Potôn, 35 km south-east of the Slovakian capital Bratislava, near the Austrian border. The Slovakia Ring circuit opened in 2009 as a test track for car manufacturers. It was not long before the track began hosting international car racing events such as the FIA GT championship and the FIA WTCC. The track is 6km long and 12km wide, with 14 bends, and is therefore both fast and technical.
Slovakia Ring History:
2008: Construction work on the circuit begins
2009: Inauguration of the Slovakia Ring
2011: First international car racing event: the FIA GT championship
2017: First FIM EWC race