Honda Endurance Racing on provisional pole
Honda Endurance Racing are back! The British factory squad got ahead of YART Yamaha – and the amazing VRD Igol Pierret Expériences – right from first qualifying.
Randy de Puniet, who broke the track record in qualifying in 2017, knocked out the competition this afternoon by clocking a 1:36.952 fastest lap in the first qualifying session of the 24 Heures Motos. Riding for Honda Endurance Racing, Randy de Puniet, Yonny Hernández and Sébastien Gimbert placed the Honda #111 on provisional pole.
They were ahead of YART Yamaha. Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa are always very fast in qualifying, but the average of the best times of the three riders was marginally slower than the Honda’s.
Another standout performance in qualifying came from third-fastest team VRD Igol Pierret Expériences. The Yamaha-mounted squad are starting out their first season in the EWC class in style. Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Xavier Simeon set an impressive pace in the saddle of the R1 #333, besting some of the favourites to win such as Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance, Team SRC Kawasaki France, F.C.C. TSR Honda France (the reigning world champions and winners of the 2018 24 Heures Motos) and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.
In Superstock, Motors Events (Suzuki) pulled off the best performance. James Westmoreland, Johan Nigon and Adrien Ganfornina got the Suzuki #50 to 8th on the provisional grid, ahead of the category’s Bol d’Or winners GERT56 by GS Yuasa (BMW) with riders Julian Puffe, Pepijn Bijsterbosch and Lucy Glöckner, who placed 10tth on the provisional grid, and Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki (Louis Rossi, Hugo Clère and Alexis Masbou), in 12th place.
The second qualifying session starts at 10.10am CEST tomorrow (Friday 19 April). The race will be flagged off at 3pm on Saturday.