Team Suzuki Press Office – December 12.
The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start the 8 Hours of Sepang from 11th on the grid after some difficult qualifying sessions, but well-managed by the technical staff and riders.
Today’s qualifying sessions took place in a scorching heat that caused a few problems with the riders and machines, and due to these difficult weather conditions, the best lap times were set in the morning, during the first qualifying session.
The SERT mission was to improve their settings in order to get ready to face the race in the best possible conditions and Vincent Phillipe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black worked hard during the whole day in this regard and it paid off, as the GSX-R1000 regained its legendary efficiency and consistency.
Thanks to the progress made, the riders were more confident and able to fight with the other top teams as Masson set a best lap time in 2:07.458, placing him 7th in his session. Then, Black confirmed the good feelings on the #2 Suzuki GSX-R1000 with a best lap time of 2:07.539, while Philippe set a 2:07.997.
Based on the average best lap time of the three riders, SERT finished 11th and will start from this position on the grid of the 8 Hours of Sepang, set to start on Saturday (December 14th) at 13:00 local time (GMT+8).
A total of nine Suzuki teams are competing in this event, including Suzuki JEG-Kagayama (13th in the EWC class) and Motors Events (4th in the SST class).
Damien Saulnier – Team Manager:
“For sure, we would have loved entering the Top 10, but we have to stay focused on the race. We worked well to find back a good basis for the bike and that’s reassuring. Japanese Yoshimura and Dunlop engineers were of great help. Our relationship is precious because we really work hand in hand. We still have a few settings to verify but we are confident ahead of the race. I know that everyone will give their best.”
• Behind SERT, the second top Suzuki team on the grid at Sepang is the Japanese SUZUKI JEG-KAGAYAMA in 13th with Suzuki Test rider Takuya Tsuda, Gregory Leblanc and Naomichi Uramoto aboard the GSX-R1000. Motors Events – James Westmoreland, Dan Linfoot and Johan Nigon – are fourth in the Superstock (SST) class.
• After tomorrow (Friday’s) all-day FIA World Touring Car (WTCR)/ Oscaro practice and qualifying, the FIM EWC riders will be back on the track on Saturday December 14th at 9am local time (GMT+8) for the warm up.
• The 1st edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang will be flagged off at 1pm. The sun sets at 7pm in Malaysia at this time of year, so the final stages of the race will be run at night under the floodlights of the Sepang International Circuit.
• The race will be broadcast globally on Eurosport.
• Yamaha Sepang Racing on pole after today’s top 10 Trial, ahead of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa and F.C.C. TSR Honda France.
• For full results at Sepang on the FIM EWC website
• For all information on the joint EWC and World Touring Car (WTCR) event