YART pips GMT94 and SERT to pole
Nearly all the teams in the running for the world title have snapped up prime spots on the starting grid of the Oschersleben 8 Hours, the FIM EWC 2016 final. Two Yamahas – YART Yamaha Official EWC Team and GMT94 Yamaha – are neck and neck, just ahead of 2015 champion Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.
Despite rivals significantly upping their performance in qualifications today, Broc Parkes and Marvin Fritz held on to their pole position for the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team.
After posting the fastest individual laps yesterday, Broc Parkes and Marvin Fritz (leader of IDM, the German Superbike), will take on the Oschersleben 8 Hours as a two-man team after Bradley Smith was knocked out by a thigh injury during free practice yesterday. Meanwhile, GMT94 Yamaha upped its performance in the second leg of qualifying. David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Lucas Mahias steered the French team’s Yamaha to second place on the grid, ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson.
F.C.C. TSR Honda also improved significantly to capture fourth place on the grid. The team comprising Patrick Jacobsen, Damian Cudlin and Kazuma Watanabe will start the race ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki’s Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Foret.
Penz13.com BMW Motorrad too fared better in the second qualifying. The team is in sixth place ahead of Team Bolliger Switzerland, who were thrown off-kilter by Michael Savary’s crash.
Two teams with a chance at the world title are missing from the top spots on the grid. Honda Endurance Racing will start the race from ninth place, and privateer Team April Moto Motors Events, which is fighting hard to hold on to its current position as leader of the FIM EWC championship, picked up tenth place on the grid.
Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors on several fronts
In Superstock, Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors suffered the same mishap as YART and will field a two-man team composed of Bastien Mackels and Stefan Kerschbaumer, after Dominik Vincon crashed in qualifying yesterday. Eighth on the starting grid, the German team on BMW is fighting on several fronts as it is chasing a win at Oschersleben plus the FIM EWC Superstock World Cup and the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy.
Three other Superstock teams will form a tight group among the Top 15 on the Oschersleben starting grid. Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences, Team 3Art Yam’Avenue (Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors’s rival for the Superstock World Cup) and Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki are 12th to 14th, in that order.
The Oschersleben 8 Hours will be flagged off tomorrow, Saturday 27 August, at 2pm CEST.