Endurance

Suzuki on Provisional Pole at Le Mans

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Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is on provisional Pole Position for the fourth and final round of the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship at Le Mans in France after the opening day of practice and qualifying.

Despite being down on its long-standing team member Anthony Delhalle - who broke his leg in two places and also his collarbone in a practice crash earlier this week - team riders Vincent Philippe, Julien Da Costa and Alex Cudlin topped the timesheets at the 36th Le Mans 24-Hours with a combined time of 1:38.023; which was just over 500ths-of-a-second ahead of SRC Kawasaki, with Yamaha GMT 94 in third position and the only other team to get under the 1:39.00-mark.

Fastest rider on track today was Da Costa, lapping the SERT GSX-R1000 around the 4.185km Circuit Bugatti with a time of 1:37.258. Second-fastest individual rider was SRC Kawasaki's Fabien Foret (1:37.608) with his team-mate Gregory Leblanc third on 1:37.611, while SERT's Philippe posted a time of 1:37.697. Fourth on the timesheets is the Belgian BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha YART.

Junior Team LMS Suzuki is the leading Superstock team, with riders Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Guillaume Dietrich putting their GSX-R1000 into sixth place overall ahead of Bolliger Team Switzerland and Honda TT Legends. Team Louit Moto 33 (Kawasaki) is the second Superstock team ahead of Team Motors Events April Moto Suzuki riders Gregory Fastre, Michael Savary and Claude Lucas.

The French Suzuki-mounted Team R2CL, who currently holds fourth-equal standings in the World Endurance Championship, finished the opening day in 10th position with guest rider - Tyco Suzuki's Guy Martin - putting-in a decent lap-time of 1:40.499 in his first ride on the team's Endurance-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000 around the circuit.

The second qualifying practice sessions take place tomorrow and the average times of the three official riders over the two qualifying sessions will determine the order of the teams on the starting grid for Saturday's race; that gets underway at 15:00hrs local time (GMT +2).

The event will be broadcast live on www.FIM-LIVE.com with several global satellite stations providing live and delayed coverage.

Le Mans 24-Hour 1st Qualifying:
1 SERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:38.023,
2 SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 1:38.689,
3 Yamaha France GMT 94 (Yamaha) 1:38.864,
4 BMW Motorrad France (BMW) 1:39.380,
5 Monster YART (Yamaha) 1:39.701,
6 Junior Team LMS (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:39.731,
7 Team Bolliger Switzerland (Kawasaki) 1:39.735,
8 Honda TT Legends (Honda) 1:39.794,
9 Team Louit Moto 33 (Kawasaki) 1:39.927,
10 Team R2CL (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:40.015.

Top Image: Suzuki score provisional pole for Le Mans
Credit: David Reygondeau/ www.Good-Shoot.com.

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