SRC Kawasaki in pole position on 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans

2015-04-17T00:00:00+02:00April 17th, 2015|24 Heures Motos 2015|

The SRC Kawasaki beat fierce competition from rival works teams to claim top spot on the grid for the 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans , which kicks off tomorrow at 15:00 on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans.

With a fastest lap of 1m36.578s, South African rider Sheridan Morais (Monster Energy Yamaha YART) broke the Bugatti circuit Endurance track record previously set by Julien Da Costa (1m36.826s) in 2012.

However, when the times set over two days of qualifying were taken into account, it was SRC Kawasaki and its French riders Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Foret who came out on top.

Gaining pole position is not the most important thing in an endurance race, but you need to be well placed at the start to avoid getting caught up among other riders,” said Gilles Stafler, SRC Kawasaki team manager. “Our riders are fast, and our strength is in having a very homogeneous team. This pole position is the reward for the team’s work on the bike, this season as well as in past years. Unlike some of our competitors who are trying to understand a new machine, we know ours perfectly.”

Fabien Foret said: “I set my time of 1m36.900s yesterday and therefore did not use qualifying tyres today. The purpose of this morning’s sessions was really to prepare for the race.”

Grégory Leblanc added: “Yesterday I couldn’t set my fastest lap and I improved today, but the important thing is to know that in the race we can regularly set fast times.”

And Matthieu Lagrive said: “The pole is a small bonus and for us the important thing today was to show that we are competitive in race conditions.”

Second on the grid, but only 0.024s off the lead, was the lap record-breaking Monster Energy Yamaha YART of Sheridan Morais. “The qualifying sessions were very intense and I am happy to have beaten this record,” he said. “However, I must say I was lucky because I was able to get clear laps without other riders in front.

Team manager Mandy Kainz was particularly pleased with his new R1: “This Yamaha is absolutely amazing! We are really satisfied. We can say that our riders love this bike. We are a very ‘international’ Austrian team with riders of three different nationalities. Sheridan is South African, Max Neukirchner is German and Ivan Silva is Spanish. Moreover, we have technicians from all over the world. We are a crazy Yamaha international family!”

The Honda Racing bike will start in third position tomorrow. Julien Da Costa, who set a good lap time yesterday, did not take part in practice this morning having decided there was no improvement to be made without qualifying tyres. Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert took to the track, with the latter able to improve his time.

The ever-consistent SERT team worked on the settings of its bikes, recently fitted with Ohlins dampers. The Suzuki works team’s three riders – Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson –all improved their lap times today.

The same was true for GMT94 Yamaha riders Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines, although David Checa suffered the consequences of falling off twice this week.

Tati Team Beaujolais Racing, with its trio of Julien Enjolras, Cédric Tangre and Michael Savary, set the best time in the Superstock class and were seventh overall. “It’s good for our prestige to obtain such a result, especially as we shared the same tyre throughout the whole session,” said Julien Enjolras. “That is important for the team but the goal remains the race, which is where we will play our cards.”

Rounding out the top three in the Superstock class were the Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki followed by Qatar Endurance Racing Team, which are eighth and ninth respectively on the starting grid.

With lap times so close at the front, with just a second covering the first four teams, the 38th edition of the 24 Heures Motos is looking good – it just remains to be seen if the weather will spoil the party!

 

For all the results go to: https://www.fimewc.com/event/24-hours-moto-2015/