Varying ambitions at Oschersleben
The teams at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben are pursuing a number of different goals. Keen to attempt another dual podium finish, the factory-backed Yamahas are already jostling for the top spots. But Team LRP Poland on BMW is determined to be the spoilsport here in Germany.
With a 1’26.931 fastest lap at the tail end of free practice this morning, Markus Reiterberger took Team LRP Poland’s BMW #90 to top place after the first official face-off on the Oschersleben track. He will be riding the S1000RR with Lukas Trautmann and Dominik Vincon.
It is worth remembering that Markus Reiterberger posted the fastest lap (1’26.816) on the German track in 2015, and that Broc Parkes of YART Yamaha Official EWC Team has held the qualifying lap record of 1’26.147 since 2013.
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team held on to the lead for a lengthy spell at the first free practice session. Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz (back in the race after his spill at Assen) and Kohta Nozane finished in 2nd place with a 1’27.167 lap, just ahead of GMT94 Yamaha’s David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Mike Di Meglio, who posted 1’27.173. The tiny gap between the two factory-backed Yamahas heralds the duel to come, and their shared goal of another dual podium finish at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben.
Kawasaki-mounted team Eva RT Webike Trick Star (Erwan Nigon, Osamu Deguchi and Julien Millet) was 4th-fastest in free practice, ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Alex Cudlin).
The top Superstock team, Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences (Bastien Mackels, Florian Alt and Axel Maurin) finished 6th, ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda (Gregg Black, Damian Cudlin and Josh Hook), Bolliger Team Switzerland (Horst Saiger, Roman Stamm and Michaël Savary) and another Superstock squad, Moto Ain CRT (Alexis Masbou, Hugo Clere and Robin Mulhauser). Honda Endurance Racing was 10th-fastest.
Meanwhile, Team April Moto Motors Events has suffered a setback. The medical team has declared Matthieu Lagrive unfit to race because of his injuries after a crash in the French championship 15 days ago.
Following this final run-through, the riders will get down to business this afternoon: the first qualifying gets underway at 3pm.