The BMW BMP Elf 99 confirmed its domination at the first qualifications session on the Losail racetrack in Qatar, where the final round of the Endurance World Championship takes place this weekend in the Middle East.
With a very homogenous team of riders, they took the best place on the provisional starting grid at the average time of the three riders. Sébastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon and Damian Cudlin are all below the 2:02 bar.
Only World Superbike regular Sylvain Guintoli on the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team was able to ride at the same pace, in 2:01.164. Guintoli came to support Vincent Philippe and Freddy Foray on the SERT GSX-R and took the second place of the first qualifying session.
SERT thus confirms its favourite status for the 2010 Qtel FIM Endurance World title.
Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani are just behind them on the Yamaha Austria Racing Team, and behind the Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone.
Current championship leader Kawasaki Bolliger Switzerland is at the right pace and signed the sixth best time.
The Suzuki of Qatar Endurance Racing Team, featuring Aussie Alex Cudlin, confirmed its leadership in the Superstock class, as they signed the fifth best time of the session, ahead of the BMW Andalucia and the Suzuki of Team Motor Events.
The FIM Superstock World Cup will be decided between those three teams.
The second qualification session is scheduled for Friday at 9.00am local time. The final starting grid will be finalised after the Superpole, in the afternoon.
To follow the practice and race live, log onto www.fim-live.com/fr/sport/endurance.
Qatar World Endurance Thursday Qualifying Top 10
1. BMP ELF 99 RACING TEAM 2:01.629
2. SERT 2:02.282
3. YART 2:02.949
4. YAMAHA FRANCE 2:03.043
5. QERT 2:04.210
6. BOLLIGER TEAM SWITZERLAND 2:04.673
7. RT MOTOVIRUS RACING 2:04.762
8. RMT #21 RACING TEAM 2:04.775
9. TEAM 18 SAPEURS-POMPIERS 2:04.896
10. RAC 41-CITV BIKE 2:04.975