After a tussle at the tail end of qualifying, YART Yamaha wrested pole position for the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.
The return of sunshine and a nearly dry track towards the end of the session resulted in a thrilling second qualifying session, with a succession of lead changes during the last few minutes on the track. Broc Parkes and Marvin Fritz gave it everything they had on the Bridgestone-shod Austrian Yamaha, completing 2:16 best laps on a still-damp track. Niccolò Canepa seized on the improved track conditions to wind things up with a 2:10.146. But he wasn’t this afternoon’s fastest rider. The one who set a personal best lap (a 2:07.823) was Mike Di Meglio for F.C.C. TSR Honda France (also Bridgestone-shod). Di Meglio and teammates Josh Hook and Freddy Foray will start from 2nd place on the grid. The second-best performance of the day came from Gregg Black: a 2:09.450 lap for Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Dunlop), who will start from 3rd on the grid based on the average best lap times of their three riders.
Honda Endurance Racing (Dunlop) and Team SRC Kawasaki France (Pirelli) will line up behind the three leaders.
The highest-placed privateer team are Fany Gastro BMW Motorrad by Mercury Racing, who will start from 6th place ahead of Kawasaki-mounted Bolliger Team Switzerland and Yamaha-mounted Wójcik Racing Team, who stood out at the latter end of qualifying due to Christoffer Bergman’s 2:09.528 lap. Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance are in 9th place on the grid ahead of VRD Igol Pierret Expériences.
The first Superstock squad of the grid line-up are Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto, in 11th place, ahead of two other teams in the category, Wójcik Racing Team 2 and Moto Ain.
The FIA WTCR / OSCARO cars and riders will take over the Slovakia Ring circuit tomorrow. The FIM EWC will be back at 8am on Saturday for the warm-up, followed by the race start at 12 noon.
Over to the polesitters:
Broc Parkes: ‘I’m happy with our pole position and our performance today. It’s helped me regain confidence after my crash during the private tests on Tuesday.’
Marvin Fritz: ‘I’m satisfied with the work we put in today, which gave us a good feeling with the bike on a wet track.’
Niccolò Canepa: ‘We’ve proved we’re equally fast on a dry and wet track, so we’re all set for the race.’