Julian da Costa has put the number two Suzuki team on pole position for the final round of the World Endurance championship at Bol D'Or on September 16, 2006, amid persistent rain.
The number one Suzuki team had led the morning qualifiers with a time of 2:02.059 for Vincent Philippe, but the world champions lost out to second sessions front runners da Costa, and Olivier Four from the National Motos Honda team.
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Suprisingly, the rain has affected both British teams in contetion, with Yamaha Phase 1 Endurance qualifying in 22nd with 2:09.281, and the Diablo 666 Kawasaki squad in 36th with 2:1.639. The Diablo squad battled despite tyres not suited to the water-logged track and a number of French factory teams entering the race. A couple of spills during practice and qualifying hid the fact that during dry practice the team had been running consistently in the top ten.
Luckily dry weather is forecast for the race istelf.
"Our strategy for the weekend will be to try and stay on the bike, ride safely and left others make the mistakes," said team boss Miles Hutchins. "I'm confident that it it dries, we can hugely improve our position. But whatever happens it will be a war of attrition, and it will be something just to survive the 24 hours."
Bol d'Or grid:
Suzuki Castrol 2:00.441
National Motos Honda 2:01.586
Suzuki Castrol 2:02.059.
Team Kawasaki France 2:03.653.
Yamaha GMT 94 2:04.318.
Maccio Racing Kawasaki 2:04.828
Infini Team Suzuki 2:05.111.
Bolliger Team Kawasaki 2:05.150.
Junior Team Suzuki LMS 2:05.515.
Dap 91 Profil + Honda 2:05.649.