Team Suzuki Press Office – April 14.

Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R – 3rd (1.35.975)

Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) Motul set the third fastest time in the first qualifying session today, Thursday the 14th of April, ahead of the 45th edition of 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans in France.

As defending World Champion, and last year’s 24 Heures event winner, Yoshimura SERT Motul is a firm favourite for the race that gets underway at 3pm (local time) this Saturday the 16th of April. With a perfectly-tuned technical team and a GSX-R1000R more efficient than ever, thanks to the latest developments in electronics and frame, Yoshimura SERT Motul is in a good position as the 2022 EWC season gets underway.

Riding the Suzuki #1, equipped with Bridgestone tyres, Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and Xavier Simeon are joined by Kazuki Watanabe as a reserve rider for the opening round of the hugely-popular Endurance World Championship.

Victim of a heavy crash two weeks ago during the official pre-season test session, Black has recovered and proved it by setting his best lap of 1.35.970, the second-best time of his session.

Simeon also put in a good performance by reaching the top three of his session with a time of 1.36.058, while Guintoli set a time of 1.35.980.

Watanabe’s time was 1.37.793 after arriving at the Bugatti circuit straight from the airport, just a few hours before qualifying.

These first qualifying results are positive for the team with an average time for the French-Japanese outfit of 1.35.975, just three-tenths off the provisional pole position.

The 52 crews entered for this 2022 edition of the 24 Heures Motos are back on track tomorrow, Friday the 15th of April from 10:20am to 12:10pm (local time) for the second and final qualifying session that will determine the final positions on the starting grid.

Damien SAULNIER – Team Manager:

“Riders and technicians are satisfied with this third place. There is only a difference of three tenths of a second from our competitors; it's really little. We now know what we have to do to gain! We have kept some parts for tomorrow, so we remain calm and focused. I also think that the riders feel good on the bike and that they all did very consistent lap times. This is also a very important point. There were no crashes, no mechanical problems. We tested new Bridgestone tyres, and everything went well. In short, it was a good day for us!”

Yohei KATO – Team Director:

“It has been a long winter! We are happy and excited to start the 24 Heures Motos amongst a high level of competitors. We kept trying new tyre options during this morning's free practice. This first qualifying session was therefore done with tyres that the riders were not familiar with, so we are very satisfied with the third provisional position.”

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

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 Sylvain Guintoli, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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