YART Yamaha now on pole!
There’s been a last-minute shake-up on the starting grid of the 24 Heures Motos. With Takuya Fujita withdrawing (to be replaced by Max Neukirchner), YART Yamaha has moved into pole position for the start of the 41st edition of the race at Le Mans, ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki and NRT48.
By making back-up rider Max Neukirchner one of the three main riders to replace Takuya Fujita, who has withdrawn because of stomach pains, YART Yamaha not only beefed up its line-up to target the win, but also moved into pole position on the starting grid of the 24 Heures Motos, to be flagged off at 3pm CEST. The team’s best average time, recalculated using Max Neukirchner’s fastest lap time together with Broc Parkes and Marvin Fritz’s, put YART Yamaha on pole.
Other riders have also withdrawn and changed the composition of their respective teams. R2CL has replaced Michael Dunlop, who has had to return home for family reasons, with back-up rider Gwen Giabbani. R2CL will start the race from 17th place on the gird.
Two-time world champion (GP125 and GP250) Manuel Poggiali was injured during the tests. Pierrot Lerat-Vanstaen has stepped in to take his place in the saddle of ZRacing’s Ducati Panigale (55th on the grid).
Finally, Jolanda Van Westrenen’s injury during qualifying has forced the initially all-female squad Girls Racing Team to rope in a male rider, Mathieu Dumas, to round off the line-up.
Another two women will be on the starting grid of the 24 Heures Motos: Margaux Wanham in the saddle of FKM.C’s Suzuki (bringing up the rear of the grid) and, of course, Lucy Glöckner, NRT48’s star rider alongside Kenny Foray and Peter Hickman, on the team’s BMW (3rd on the starting grid).