BMW DOMINATES OPENING PRACTICE
In the run-up to the Oschersleben 8 Hours, scheduled to take place from 12pm to 8pm this coming Saturday, the 36 teams in the fray did free practice sessions at noon on this technical 3.6km track in the heart of Germany.
BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com – one of the favourites at this third round of the FIM EWC – set the pace with a fastest lap of 1.26.670, one second quicker than its nearest rival, the Monster Energy Yamaha YART team. The factory BMW ridden by Germany’s Markus Reiterberger, Belgian rider Bastien Mackels and Spaniard Pedro Vallcaneras muscled its way ahead of the top teams at the practice session, clearly bent on repeating last year’s exploit. In 2014, the team took pole position with a lap time of 1.27.203, just under a second slower than today’s time.
In second place after the practice sessions, Monster Energy Yamaha YART is feeling confident about the next stage. It has a truly international team: Australian Broc Parkes (still standing in for the injured Max Neukirchner), Spaniard Ivan Silva and South African rider Sheridan Morais.
Honda Racing, the winner of last year’s race, declared itself satisfied with the consistent performance of the three Frenchmen making up its team: Julien Da Costa, Sébastien Gimbert and Freddy Foray. The British team are unperturbed about placing seventh in the practice sessions. Fuel management is one of their strong points, and they’re fine-tuning it further to ride two to four laps more than their rivals between stints.
On the Superstock front, current championship leader Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki is quite satisfied, and very pleased with the progress made by its new rider Romain Maitre, who was up to the standard of his more experienced teammates Baptiste Guittet and Gregg Black during practice.