Back-to-back pole time for EWC champion team YART as Fritz breaks Spa lap record

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Back-to-back Pole Time For Ewc Champion Team Yart As Fritz Breaks Spa Lap RecordYamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team made it back-to-back pole positions in the FIM Endurance World Championship as Marvin Fritz underlined the Austrian squad’s dominant display with a new qualifying lap record at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this afternoon (Friday).

Having set the qualifying standard in the season-opening 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans in April, the EWC championship-winning team from 2023 was again out of reach in the battle for the pole position for the 8 Hours of Spa Motos.

Back-to-back Pole Time For Ewc Champion Team Yart As Fritz Breaks Spa Lap RecordWhile Niccolò Canepa and Karel Hanika were fastest for YART among the Blue and Red rider groups respectively, it was Fritz’s performance that was particularly noteworthy with his 2m18.552s, set in First Qualifying, bettering Hanika’s qualifying lap record from 2022, a 2m18.845s. Fritz actually went even faster in Free Practice this morning, the 31-year-old clocking a 2m18.551s best, such has been his pace on the spectacular 6.985-kilometre Belgian track.

Back-to-back Pole Time For Ewc Champion Team Yart As Fritz Breaks Spa Lap RecordF.C.C. TSR Honda France – featuring a two-rider-only line-up of Josh Hook, who became a father for the first time yesterday, and Alan Techer following an injury to Mike Di Meglio in a French championship race last weekend – was second fastest as the Japanese outfit bids to rebound from its non-finish in the 24 Heures Motos. Suzuki-powered Yoshimura SERT Motul, which triumphed in round one, was third quickest courtesy of riders Gregg Black, Dan Linfoot and Étienne Masson.

Back-to-back Pole Time For Ewc Champion Team Yart As Fritz Breaks Spa Lap RecordIn the Dunlop-supplied Superstock category for the FIM Endurance World Cup, Team Étoile claimed top spot in qualifying in only its second EWC appearance. Kazuki Watanabe combined with Spa rookies Yudai Kamei and Hikari Okubo to deliver a maiden EWC pole position for Takeshi Ichikawa’s BMW-powered outfit from Japan.Back-to-back Pole Time For Ewc Champion Team Yart As Fritz Breaks Spa Lap Record

“Of course we always have lots we can improve but the day started well because I make a lap record this morning,” Fritz said. “But overall I had a really good lap in qualifying. I didn’t have the best feeling with the front tyre so I always tried to use the rear tyre as much as I could. I expected to be faster but overall I’m pretty happy with the lap time and the new lap record, especially after I took it away from my brother-in-law [Karel Hanika], which is a pretty nice feeling. I’m super-happy about my team-mates, my team, the bike. I think we have a good feeling for tomorrow.”

Watanabe said: “I am the only one from the team with experience of this special circuit but we had a track day on Monday and that helped a lot for my team-mates. I tried to tell my experience to them but it’s the team that is fast here and after I had a fall on Monday, I had some responsibility and I believe I have paid that back just a little bit. But still we have the race tomorrow. Last year it was a 24-hour race, this year it’s only eight hours so it’s like a sprint race. But we haven’t finished a race this year so I would like to try to manage the race for the team.”

Behind the overall top three, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team was fourth quickest for its home round of the EWC. Honda Viltaïs Racing was the leading independent entrant in fifth, one place ahead of Kawasaki Webike Trickstar. Belgium-based KM 99, Tati Team Beringer Racing, Team Bolliger Switzerland and BMRT3D maxxess Nevers completed the top 10.

Wójcik Racng Team STK, competing with Honda power for only the second time, was the second best Superstock team with Honda No Limits third, National Motos Honda FMA fourth and Tecmas MRP BMW Racing Team fifth.Back-to-back Pole Time For Ewc Champion Team Yart As Fritz Breaks Spa Lap Record

Friday’s Second Qualifying in focus
Gregg Black set the benchmark time in the Blue Rider group, the Yoshimura SERT Motul star posting a 2m19.458s to head Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team) and Niccolò Canepa, the First Qualifying pacesetter for Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team. Florian Marino (KM 99) was fourth quickest followed by Florian Alt (Honda Viltaïs Racing) and home hero Loris Cresson (BMRT3D maxxess Nevers). Grégory Leblanc was seventh for Kawasaki Webike Trickstar with Hugo Clere (Tati Team Beringer Racing) the next fastest Formula EWC runner ahead of Christoffer Bergman (Maco Racing Team) and Daniel Rubin (Motobox Kremer Racing). The quickest Superstock category time went to Sébastien Suchet (National Motos Honda FMA) with Kevin Manfredi second fastest for Wójcik Raing Team STK followed by Yudai Kamei (Team Étoile), Kevin Calia (Aviobike by M2 Revo) and Enzo De La Vega (Team 18 Sepeurs Pompiers CMS Motostore).

Étienne Masson (Yoshimura SERT Motul) was the Yellow Rider group pacesetter in a time of 2m19.671s followed by Sylvain Guintoli (BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team) and Marvin Fritz (Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team). Christian Gamarino posted the fourth best lap for Kawasaki Webike Trickstar as Randy de Puniet (KM 99) completed the top five followed by Danny Webb, the fastest Superstock category contender. Steven Odenaal was the next best Formula EWC runner for Honda Viltaïs Racing followed by Dominik Vincon (Motobox Kremer Racing), Marc Miralles (Mana-Au Competition), Julien Pilot (BMRT3D Maxxess Nevers) and Jurand Kuśmierczyk (Wójcik Racing Team). Behind Webb, National Motos Honda FMA’s Valentin Suchet was second the second fastest Superstock rider, one place ahead of Lorenzo Gabellini (Honda No Limits). Jan Bühn (Tecmas MRP BMW Racing Team) and Baptiste Guittet (Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers CMS Motostore) rounded out the top five. JMA Racing Action Bike’s Milan Merckelbagh crashed heavily at the exit of Bruxelles corner but was uninjured.Back-to-back Pole Time For Ewc Champion Team Yart As Fritz Breaks Spa Lap Record

Alan Techer topped the Red Rider group for F.C.C. TSR Honda France ahead of Dan Linfoot (Yoshimura SERT Motul) and Karel Hanika (Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team). Illya Mykhalchyk (BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team) was fourth ahead of Superstock pacesetter Kazuki Watanabe (Team Étoile). The Formula EWC top 10 was rounded out by Jérémy Guarnoni (KM 99), Corentin Perolari (Tati Team Beringer Racing), Román Ramos (Kawasaki Webike Trickstar), Leandro Mercado (Honda Viltaïs Racing), Pedro Romero (Team Bolliger Switzerland) and Takeshi Ishizuka (Maco Racing Team). Guillaume Raymond was the second fastest Superstock rider for National Motos Honda FMA followed by David Sanchís (Team 33 Louit April Moto), Martin Renaudin (Chromeburner-RAC 41-Honda) and Alessandro Delbianco (Pit-Lane Endurance).

BEST LAPS
First Qualifying Blue Rider: Niccolò Canepa, 2m18.938s / Tom Ward, 2m22.567s
First Qualifying Yellow Rider: Marvin Fritz, 2m18.552s / Lorenzo Gabellini, 2m23.083s
First Qualifying Red Rider: Karel Hanika, 2m18.622s / Johan Nigon, 2m22.815s

Second Qualifying Blue Rider: Gregg Black, 2m19.458s / Sébastien Suchet, 2m22.294s
Second Qualifying Yellow Rider: Étienne Masson, 2m19.671s / Danny Webb, 2m22.777s
Second Qualifying Red Rider: Alan Techer, 2m19.379s / Kazuki Watanabe, 2m21.911s

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