SRC Kawasaki top Bol d'Or qualifying, TT Legends 12th
TT & road races
19 April 2013 13:54
Factory Kawasaki endurance specialists SRC have topped qualifying for the 77th Bol d'Or, setting a blistering pace that saw all three of their riders top their respective qualifying sessions, while the Honda TT Legends were 12th, 3.4 seconds back.
WSB rider Loris Baz was the fastest of the trio, setting a time of 1:39.4 - less than three seconds off the superpoll time of Tom Sykes at last year's World Superbike season finale, and teammates Greg LeBlanc and Jeremy Guarnoni were less than a second slower, to give them a combined time of 1:39.610.
Suzuki's factory effort, SERT, were second, with endurance specialists Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and former BSB racer Julian DeCosta setting an average lap of 1:40.0.
Yamaha completed an all-Japanese podium, with GMT94 in third, averaging 1:40.489 with David Checa (younger brother of former WSB champion Carlos), Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive.
However, Michael Dunlop was the surprise of the day, lapping considerably faster than any of his Honda TT Legends despite being the reserve rider of the team. The team can if they wish substitute Dunlop for any of the other riders, but a decision doesn't have to be submitted until tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
Manxman Conor Cummins will start from 21st on his Maco Racing Yamaha, and TT regular Steve Mercer was 17th on the Penz13.com BMW as their reserve rider.
Qualifying at the Bol d'Or is widely awknowledged as less important as other races, as both the duration of the race and the unusual starting proceedure (which sees the riders run across the track to their waiting machine) negate much of the advantage.
The race will be live on MotorsTV on Saturday from 1330-1605 and 1800-2230 and on Sunday from 0900-1100 and 1300-1430 (all times UK).