Mercury Racing tops free practice
Czech team Fany Gastro BMW Motorrad by Mercury Racing topped free practice for the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring on Thursday morning ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki France and F.C.C. TSR Honda France.
Rain disrupted the first timed session on the Slovakia Ring. The fastest times were set at the start of the session before the track got soaked. Czech team Fany Gastro BMW Motorrad by Mercury Racing came out on top in the wet conditions, with Karel Hanika setting a 2:04.806 lap. The Czech racer will be riding the BMW #21 with Ondrej Jezek and James Westmoreland. The team had already made its mark last year with a 6th-place finish behind the factory teams.
Team SRC Kawasaki France set the second-fastest time in free practice, a 2:05.120, just ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France, who clocked 2:05.311. Both teams are among the favourites to win, together with Honda Endurance Racing and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who were 4th and 5th-fastest respectively in free practice.
Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance were 6th after being thrown off their stride by Julien Da Costa’s spectacular crash (the rider came out of it unharmed). VRD Igol Pierret Expériences set a good pace and were 7th.
GERT56 by GS Yuasa once again took the lead in the Superstock class ahead of Moto Ain, BMRT 3D Maccio Racing and Wójcik Racing Team 2.
Two riders in the race
Following a number of crashes during private tests on Tuesday, two riders withdrew this morning. 3ART Moto Team 95, who were 9th-fastest in free practice, will have to make do without their third rider Alex Plancassagne. Morgan Berchet and Matthieu Lussiana will race the Yamaha #36 as a twosome. Team Players are up against the same problem: François Noël and Yann Pasco will have to get by without help from Arnaud de Kimpe.
The first qualifying session for the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring starts at 1.15pm today and the second at 5.20pm.