Le Mans 24 Hours: Suzuki Endurance Racing Team on Pole

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team during Qualifying for 24 Hours of Le Mans
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team during Qualifying for 24 Hours of Le Mans
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team during Qualifying for 24 Hours of Le Mans

2013 FIM World Endurance Championship

The final round of the FIM World Endurance Championship gets underway this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

And after improving its overall combined time to 1:37.877 in Friday’s final qualifying, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) have placed its GSX-R1000 on the pole at the Circuit Bugatti.

The 12-times World Endurance Champions, who are without team rider Anthony Dehalle this weekend following his injury earlier in the week, topped the timesheets by less than 0.010 of a second from Yamaha France GMT 94, who significantly improved their overall time from Thursday’s opening sessions.

SERT’s Vincent Philippe and Julien Da Costa secured better individual lap-times of the day with a 1:37.258 each; as team-mate Alex Cudlin remaining on the same 1:39.116 lap time.

Third place on the start will be taken by yesterday’s runner-up SRC Kawasaki, buoyed by Gregory Leblanc’s fastest individual lap-time of the sessions (1:37.190). Monster Energy YART – joined by AMA Superbike contender Josh Hayes for the event  – secured fourth ahead of BMW Motorrad France.

Suzuki’s Team R2CL- who currently holds four-equal in the World Endurance Championship class – finished the day in 12th position, but ahead of podium rivals Bolliger Team Switzerland. R2CL riders Guy Martin, Dylan Buisson and Gwen Giabbani recorded a combined time of 1:39.674; Giabbani lapping the fastest at 1:38.205.

Suzuki interest remains high in the Superstock class with three GSX-R1000-mounted teams in the top four; and three teams capable of lifting the Superstock title at Le Mans: Behind Superstock class pole-setters Team Louit Moto 33 (Kawasaki) is Team Motors Events, AM Moto Racing and Junior Team LMS – who are all separated by less than 500th-of-a-second.

This weekend’s 36th 24 Heurs Moto Le Mans gets underway at 15:00hrs (GMT +2) and will be covered live on FIM-LIVE.COM where there will also be a live Twitter feed. The race is also being broadcast by several global Satellite TV Stations, in part and delayed.

2013 24 Hours of Le Mans Final Qualifying Results:
1. SERT – Philippe/ Da Costa/ Cudlin – (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:37.877
2. Yamaha France GMT 94 (Yamaha) 1:37.906
3. Team SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 1:38.241
4. Monster Energy YART (Yamaha) 1:38.801
5. BMW Motorrad France (BMW) 1:38.880
6. FMA Assurances (Honda) 1:39.265
7. National Motos (Honda) 1:39.318
8. Team Louit Moto 33 (Kawasaki) 1:39.571
9. Honda TT Legends (Honda) 1:39.607
10. Team Motors Event – Fastre/ Savery/ Lucas – (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:39.619
11. AM Moto Racing – Loiseau/ Maitre/ Hardt – (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:39.631
12. Team R2CL – Martin/ Buisson/ Giabbani – (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:39.674