Randy de Puniet went in all guns blazing to top the timesheets in the first qualifying. The Team SRC Kawasaki rider posted a 1’57.532 fastest lap, without however surpassing Markus Reiterberger’s 1’57.253 qualifying lap at the 2015 Bol d’Or 2015.
Randy de Puniet, Mathieu Gines and Fabien Foret put the Kawasaki #11 on provisional pole, nearly a half-second ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, which turned in a consistent performance by Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black.
YART Yamaha placed third after the first qualifying with Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Kohta Nozane, scraping in ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Josh Hook, Alan Techer and Freddy Foray) and Honda Endurance Racing (Gregory Leblanc, Sébastien Gimbert and Yonny Hernández).
Next came Tecmas BMW (Kenny Foray, Julien Da Costa and Camille Hedelin) and GMT94 Yamaha (David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Mike Di Meglio). The 2016-2017 FIM EWC world champions were clearly focusing on preparatory work in race conditions, not chasing pole position.
The first Superstock team, Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences (last season’s World Cup winner) took eighth spot on the provisional grid.
The second qualifying gets underway at 9.40 am CEST tomorrow (Friday) on the Paul Ricard circuit.