Le Mans 24H Moto: Final Qualifying
Posted: 20th April 2018
SRC Kawasaki EWC pole, Viltais Yamaha STK pole, TTS Excent Kawasaki EXP pole – Giabbani in for Dunlop at R2CL? - Qualifying session like opening laps of a club race – It's hot, really hot; thunderstorms for race start
This morning's second qualifying sessions took place in blistering head and resembled nothing less than the opening laps of a club race, as a pack of a dozen or so riders all fought to 'win' their qualifying sessions.
Overal pole position has gone to SRC Kawasaki with an average time of 1:36.946; the only team to average below 1:37. Second place has gone to YART Yamaha (1:37.101), third is NRT48 BMW (with Pete Hickman as rider two) on 1:37.338, fourth is GMT94 Yamaha (1:37.419) and fifth is SERT Suzuki (1:37.523).
FCC TSR Honda France were sixth overall despite not setting times in two of today's sessions, with Honda Endurance 111 a few hundredths behind them. Tecmas BMW were eighth, Penz BMW ninth (with riders Michael Laverty, Christian Iddon and Danny Webb) and Mercury Racing BMW tenth (riders Karel Hanika, Jakub Srz and Sylvain Barrier).
Yamaha Viltais Experience were top Superstock team, in eleventh place overall on 1:39.059, just ahead of Team 33 Louit Moto.
In the Experimental class, the funny-front-end Kawasaki ZX10R of TT Excent was fastest, on 1:39.867, ahead of the Metiss JLC Moto on 1:41.934.Michael Dunlup, R2CL Suzuki
High profile road racer Michael Dunlop is apparently less than happy with team R2CL Suzuki and team manager Gwen Giabbani is said to be deciding if he will ride in the race himself rather Dunlop. The team have qualified 18th overall, with Dunlop's best lap of 1:39.466 set today and Giabbani's best of 1:39.081 set yesterday.
The weather forecast is currently threatening thundery showers on Saturday afternoon / evening, from just before the start until 5pm or so. The weather is currently more Circuit Paul Ricard than Le Mans, but without the humidity of Suzuka...Le Mans 2 Roues Aprilia
Words, Photos: Martin Gelder