News 23 Sep 2011

Cudlin's BMW Motorrad France 99 team leads opening Le Mans qualifying

BMW Motorrad France 99 put the hammer down from the first 24 Hours of Le Mans qualifying session, fourth round of the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship. Erwan Nigon set a new qualification lap record in 1’36.950.

With Sébastien Gimbert in 1’37.519 and Damian Cudlin in 1’38.224, BMW Motorrad France 99 put the Team on a very comfortable provisional pole position, based on the average laptimes of their three riders.

This first qualifying session was also the occasion to see a great comeback from Monster Yamaha YART, now in the right pace. Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Loris Baz (replacing rider Gwen Giabbani, injured), on 1’38’s, managed to offer the Austrian Yamaha a provisional second place on the grid, ahead of the Yamaha Racing France GMT 94 Ipone of David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive, 1’37.834.

The Team SRC Kawasaki seems to face some difficulties and took fourth place in the first session, with Julien da Costa, Gregory Leblanc and Olivier Four. Maco Racing is just nearby the leaders on fifth place with Jason Pridmore, Greg Junod and Gregg Black.

The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is still in a recovery process with Anthony Delhalle, Daisaku Sakai and Baptiste Guittet, freshly borrowed for the race from the team Suzuki Junior LMS.

The Junior Team Suzuki clinched a great second Superstock position with Cédric Tangre, Julien Enjolras and Loïc Napoleone, ahead of the BMW of Van Zon Boenig Motorsportschool Penz13 RT of Grégory Fastré, Michal Filla and a very impressive Ari Vos.

The Suzuki AM Moto Racing Compétition, who did well from the free practice, lost some ground as Anthony Loiseau crashed.

The second qualifying session is scheduled tomorrow Friday at 11 am on the Bugatti racetrack at Le Mans.