Qualifying for the 77th Bol d’Or, the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship season opener at Magny Cours, is complete and SRC Kawasaki leads the field in pole position. The defending world champions, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT), placed second-fastest and were followed by Yamaha France GMT 94 in third.
The SRC squad includes Gregory Leblanc, Kawasaki World Superbike rider Loris Baz and Jeremy Guarnoni. The average of their best efforts left them with less than half-a-second advantage over SERT at the end of the session. Despite their positive early showing, SRC Kawasaki only plans to field a crew at Bol d’Or and Le Mans in 2013.
SERT’s Vincent Phillipe, Anthony Delhalle and former SRC rider, Julien Da Costa, maintained a similar margin over Yamaha France GMT as well. BMW Motorrad France qualified in fourth position followed by Junior Team LMS Suzuki in fifth.
Elsewhere on the grid, Monster Energy Yamaha – YART grabbed ninth position, Honda TT Legends placed 12th and Team Bollinger Switzerland finished 14th.
John McGuinness – Honda TT Legends
“We’re all pretty much the same in terms of lap times, there’s not much in it, and that’s where we want to be. It’s fair to say that qualifying is not the be all and end all in endurance, it’s more about reliability and consistency and we know that we can achieve that. As always, we’ll aim to do 24 hours of consistent laps and hopefully we’ll be there at the end.”
Sebastian Gimbert – BMW Motorrad France
“I’m not so happy with fourth in qualifying as I prefer to start from pole! But pole position, while nice for a rider, is pretty irrelevant when it comes to a 24-hour race. Much more important is our finishing position on Sunday. Ultimately, this is how our performance is measured, not in qualifying. The bike is working pretty well here and we have a strong rider line up, so we’re in a good position going into tomorrow’s race. For me this is the worst part; waiting to race. I want to get going now!”
Competition in the 24-hour Bol d’Or starts at 3:00 p.m. local time on Saturday April 20, 2013.
Bol d’Or Qualifying Results 2013:
1. SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 1’39.610
2. SERT (Suzuki) 1’40.000
3. Yamaha France GMT (Yamaha) 1’40.489
4. BMW Motorrad France (BMW) 1’40.690
5. Junior Team LMS Suzuki (Suzuki) 1’42.144
6. Honda National Motos (Honda) 1’42.360
7. Team Louit Motos 33 (Kawasaki) 1’42.404
8. AM Moto Racing (Suzuki) 1’42.654
9. Monster Energy Yamaha – YART (Yamaha) 1’42.742
10. Team R2CL (Suzuki) 1’42.796