The factory Yamaha team will start the 12 Hours of Estoril from pole. A fierce battle raged on the Portuguese circuit this morning, but YART Yamaha held on to the lead in qualifying ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France and BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team.
With all three riders coming in under the 1:39 mark in qualifying, YART Yamaha were the fastest and most consistent line-up at Estoril this morning. Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa are the favourites at the 12 Hours of Estoril, the final of the FIM Endurance World Championship. The race start has been brought forward to 8am local time.
Japanese team F.C.C. TSR Honda France managed to keep second place on the grid after riders Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike di Meglio staved off attacks by BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team.
The factory BMW team’s Markus Reiterberger posted the new fastest lap, a 1:38.447. Although Kenny Foray and Peter Hickman also improved on yesterday’s performances, the Belgian BMW team finished a few tenths of a second behind the Honda to remain in third place on the starting grid.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team rejoined the quartet of factory teams in the lead with riders Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon. The Suzuki team managed to beat Wójcik Racing Team to fourth place. The Polish Yamaha-mounted team with Gino Rea, Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morais in the saddle confirmed their status as best independent team ahead of VRD Igol Pierret Experiences (Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Nico Terol).
ERC Endurance made further progress on their Ducati Panigale, and will start from seventh place ahead of Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar. The reigning champions, who switched to a new tyre supplier at the 24 Heures Motos, are evidently still seeking to optimize the settings of their ZX-10RR for the Michelin tyres.
National Motos and the top Superstock team Moto Ain round off the 12 Hours of Estoril starting grid Top 10.