Team Suzuki Press Office – September 23.
The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team have been on track for a private test ahead of this weekend’s final round of the 2019-202 Endurance World Championship at Estoril in Portugal.
Fifteen-time EWC Champions SERT, with riders Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon aboard the GSX-R1000 currently the series by 40 points, after numerous calendar changes due to the ongoing crisis but aim to win the title back for Suzuki at the weekend’s Estoril 12 Hours.
SERT has led the series since the opening round of the season with victory at the Bol d’Or 24 hours, then fifth at Sepang, Malaysia and a third place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month. Thanks to this consistent and flawless season, the team managed by Damien Saulnier heads to the final round of the 2019/ 2020 season with a comfortable lead in the Championship, but the battle isn’t over yet and the series is still wide open.
This means that the team will have to stay focused on their goal in Portugal for the grand finale. Under a threatening sky but with mild temperatures, the trio of riders part today in the first private practice sessions around the 4.182 meter Estoril circuit, a track that is finally back on the Endurance calendar following the original Bol d’Or finale cancellation.
After some major renovation work, this track was the venue of a MotoGP race for the first time in 2000. Estoril also hosted two rounds of the Endurance World Championship in 1987 and 2000, both of which were won by the SERT. However, most of the riders competing today at the 12 Hours of Estoril were discovering this quite technical track, apart from a few former Grand Prix riders like Xavier Siméon, who already raced here three times in the past; an additional asset in the SERT’s game.
The Suzuki brand also keeps a chance to win the FIM World Cup thanks to the Italian crew No Limits Motor Team, currently third in the Superstock class.
The first qualifying sessions will start on Thursday from 14:30 to 15:50 local time. The final positions on the starting grid will be determined after the last qualifying sessions, which take place on Friday from 9:00 to 10:20.
The start of the final round of the 2019/ 2020 FIM-EWC Endurance World Championship is scheduled on Saturday September 26th at 8:30 (local time).