BMW leads free practice at Le Mans

2015-04-16T00:00:00+02:00April 16th, 2015|24 Heures Motos 2015|

The final free practice session before the start of the 38th Le Mans 24 Hours took place on a dry track with warm temperatures and slightly overcast skies: ideal conditions for the riders starting this legendary challenge.

As expected, six factory teams occupied the top six places on the time sheets. BMW Motorrad France Team was fastest, with the following three teams within the same second.

Team manager Rico Penzkofer said: “The bike is working really well. The team is gelling properly and Markus Reiterberger has been particularly quick. We’re looking forward to qualifying now, as that’s when we will really see where we are compared to our rivals. It’s going to be even more revealing as we were forced to change our line-up last week, after Bastien Mackels came off while testing in Germany and broke his elbow. He’s been replaced by Gareth Jones, while former MotoGP rider Lucas Pesek is another new arrival in our team.”

The SRC Kawasaki ridden by Grégory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Foret, as well as the Monster Energy Yamaha YART – in the hands of Max Neukirchner, Ivan Silva and Sheridan Morais – set similar times to the leading bike.

Julien Da Costa, Sébastien Gimbert and Freddie Foray placed their Honda just behind the YART entry, still within a second of the leading BMW.

Slightly behind them is the GMT94 Yamaha, perhaps as a result of an injured knee for rider David Checa following a fall in Tuesday free practice.

The National Motos and Team Bolliger Switzerland squads are still in the hunt as well, ready to make the most of whichever opportunities present themselves.

The Superstock Suzuki Junior Team was an impressive ninth overall thanks to Baptiste Guittet, Gregg Black and Romain Maitre, having won the World Cup last year.

Qualifying looks set to be a thriller.