Team Suzuki Press Office – April 15.

Yoshimura SERT Motul: Suzuki GSX-R1000R – 2nd

After a hard-fought qualifying session at the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans, the Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Motul confirmed its status as a serious contender for victory by setting the second fastest qualifying time.

Faced with strong competition that has intensified over the winter, the reigning World Champions made good progress in today’s qualifying session which bodes well for the race itself. Likewise, the championship-winning Suzuki GSX-R1000R was able to demonstrate that it had also evolved.

After setting the third fastest time in yesterday's initial qualifying session, the team took advantage of more favorable weather conditions to further improve their performance.

Despite difficulties at the beginning of the session, marked by two small mistakes that were without consequences, Gregg Black knew how to react and to give the best of himself. The Anglo-Frenchman posted a very fast lap of 1.35.272 at the end of the session and took the second best time.

Xavier Siméon’s session was marked by several crashes, forcing the race direction to put out a red flag. This interruption disrupted the Belgian rider's pace, but he recovered at the end of the session with a 1.35.583 lap.

Third rider to take to the track with the Factory Suzuki was Sylvain Guintoli. He distinguished himself with several very fast laps and continued his efforts until the end to finish with an excellent time of 1.35.535, which put him at the top of the timesheet in his session.

Qualifying concluded with the reserve riders' session in which Japanese rider Kazuki Watanabe also set the second fastest time in his class with a 1.37.690.

With these positive results, Yoshimura SERT Motul will line up second on the grid for the 45th edition of the 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans, which will start tomorrow, Saturday, April 16th at 3pm (local time).

Damien SAULNIER – Team Manager:

“You always want to do better, but I'm very satisfied with this great start to the week, and we'll continue like this. It was a great qualifying with very good lap times in the 1'35s, riders feeling good on the bike and Bridgestone tyres working perfectly. I know we can do even better, pole was not out of reach. But we know how hard YART is fighting for it. Our aim is to last until 3pm on Sunday, so it's good to see our bike in the top two at the start.”

Yohei KATO – Team Director:

“I am very happy with this second place. We also qualified in second position last year, so it's a good sign! We have prepared well for the race, but we will do some more testing tomorrow morning during the warm-up. We always perform better during the race, so we are confident for tomorrow.”

Gregg Black:

“We have incredible conditions here in Le Mans, it feels like June. We were able to work well to achieve some really exceptional times, like all the official teams. Before, 1'35 was very fast, and now it's ordinary. We are very satisfied with the work done by the team and we have a very good race pace, which is our strong point. We are confident for this first race, our objective is really to be regular and to repeat the good performance of last year.”

Xavier Siméon:

“It was really fast this morning. My qualifying session was disrupted by a lot of crashes and I couldn't really take advantage of my new tyre, but I improved my time, just like my teammates. We finish second; it's a very good result for us. The team did a great job to make the bike perform well over 24 hours. With Gregg and Sylvain we are a very consistent team. It's a new year, we start from scratch, and we have to concentrate as we always do.”

Sylvain Guintoli:

“We all managed to improve our times today, which is very positive. The conditions were very good, with little wind and maximum grip on the track. We all had a very good feeling on the bike, which allowed us to attack with confidence. For the race, things will of course be different. But one thing is sure, we are ready. Personally, I now have a bit more experience in endurance racing. In 2021, we won both 24-hour races. And things come in threes!”

Le Mans Image Gallery (David Reygondeau @ Good-Shoot): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Full results: CLICK HERE

For more stories about Xavier Simeon, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Gregg Black, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Kazuki Watanabe, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Sylvain Guintoli, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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