SRC Kawasaki dominates opening qualifying session at Le Mans

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

The SRC Kawasaki team dominated the first qualifying session at Le Mans, with Fabien Foret setting fastest lap. It was an early show of strength for the French team, with uncertain weather predicted for the remainder of qualifying tomorrow.

Straight away, the riders set a rapid pace over the demanding Bugatti circuit. With four groups of riders taking it in turns to qualify, reigning Supersport champion Fabien Foret was convincingly fastest, setting a time of 1m36.00s aboard his SRC Kawasaki.

Team manager Gilles Stafler said: “The team did an extremely good job, with all three riders very closely matched and following instructions exactly. But we can’t afford to relax as another qualifying session awaits tomorrow and rain is forecast. The main thing, as always, is the race – so we want to make sure that we don’t make any of the same mistakes we made last year.”

The Austrian YART Yamaha squad was classified second fastest, ahead of Team Honda Racing in third. Team Honda Racing manager Steven Casaer commented: “From the start, we decided that we weren’t going to go chasing fastest times. On the one hand, it’s because we don’t get qualifying tyres from Dunlop, but mostly it’s because the emphasis in our set-up is on endurance. That’s a strategic decision we’ve made from the outset, and over the last two years we’ve steadily got closer to our rivals.”

Last year’s Le Mans winner, SERT Suzuki, was fourth; again having prioritised performance over outright pace. Team rider Vincent Philippe pointed out: “Just like Honda we’re not supplied with qualifying tyres from Dunlop, which makes the times set by their riders all the more impressive. Hats off to them.”

Reigning world champions, Yamaha GMT94 were less lucky, with David Checa coming off his bike during the evening session.

The weather will be a determining factor for second qualifying tomorrow, with today’s times set to stand if it rains – as has been forecast.

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