Thanks to Randy de Puniet setting yet another lap record on the Paul Ricard circuit (a 1:54.007), Jérémy Guarnoni stepping up his performance to come in under the 1:55 mark and David Checa making strong progress, Team SRC Kawasaki France took pole position on the starting grid of the 82nd Bol d’Or.
Other than the prestige of seeing its name at the top of the timesheets, the pole position enabled Team SRC Kawasaki France to score 5 points. The new 2018-2019 FIM EWC rules state that a bonus 5 to 1 points will be awarded to the top 5 teams on the starting grid.
Team SRC Kawasaki France has thereby strengthened its position as the favourite for the win. While Randy de Puniet posted his fastest lap using qualifying tyres, David Checa, who is still getting to grips with the Kawasaki, admits he was able to up his performance with the help of race tyres.
Japanese team F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike Di Meglio narrowly edged out YART Yamaha to 2nd spot on the grid. The YART riders Broc Parkes, Niccolò Canepa and Marvin Fritz had been fastest in yesterday’s first qualifying.
Next up on the grid is ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance, still well placed for the win, ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, Honda Endurance Racing, Wepol Racing (Yamaha) and Yamaha Viltaïs Pierret Experiences, who will have to replace Axel Maurin with Vincent Lonbois because Maurin sustained an injury during his qualifying session this morning.
The first Superstock bike on the grid is in 9th place. Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto confirmed its ambitions this morning with riders Enzo Boulom, Chris Leesch and Kevin Manfredi. Their Kawasaki #33 is ahead of Superstock rivals Gert56 (BMW) and Junior Team LMS Suzuki.
The Bol d’Or will be flagged off tomorrow (Saturday) at 3pm CEST.