SRC Kawasaki takes the lead at Le Mans
Team SRC Kawasaki France topped free practice at Le Mans, coming in ahead of Honda Endurance Racing and YART Yamaha after the first session racing the stopwatch at the 24 Heures Motos.
Team SRC Kawasaki France had their race strategy in place right from free practice. Jérémy Guarnoni posted the fastest lap, a 1:37.030, at the tail end of the session. The trio comprising Jérémy Guarnoni, David Checa and Erwan Nigon are looking very competitive in the saddle of the factory Kawasaki.
The second-best performance of the morning came from Randy de Puniet (1:37.048) riding the Honda Endurance Racing bike with Yonny Hernández and Sébastien Gimbert.
YART Yamaha (Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa) took third spot in free practice with a 1:37.317 lap, ahead of Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and VRD Igol Pierret Expériences, who are already closing in on the favourites.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France were 7th after a problematic session. The Japanese team – the reigning world champions – are evidently still working out their chassis set-up. The team’s three riders Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike Di Meglio took minor spills this morning.
Other favourites also experienced a number of falls this morning. Vincent Philippe for Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Randy de Puniet for Honda Endurance Racing were among the riders who crashed, albeit harmlessly.
In Superstock, GERT56 by GS Yuasa (BMW), the category toppers following their Bol d’Or win, are already leading, ahead of two Suzuki-mounted squads, Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki and Team Motors Events.
The first qualifying gets underway on the Bugatti circuit at 3.40pm CEST today. At the end of the session, the average of the best times achieved by each team’s three riders will determine the provisional starting grid of the 24 Heures Motos.
The second qualifying session will start at 10.10m tomorrow (Friday 19 April). The race will be flagged off at 3pm on Saturday.