Suzuki Endurance Racing Team has already taken, from the first qualifying session, a serious option for the pole-position for the 8 Hours of Doha, last round of the 2008 Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship. With a best lap of 2’02’’004, Matthieu Lagrive was the fastest man this afternoon in Doha ; with his teammate Julien Da Costa, himself close to the 2’03 mark, they put the Suzuki 1 far ahead of the competition. Guillaume Dietrich is slighlty behind, but he is at Doha firstly to practice his job, as he replaces Vincent Philippe, still injured. Let’s keep in mind, however, that the order on the starting grid is determined by the average time of all the riders of each team.
Also close to the 2’03 mark, is Patric Muff from team Bolliger Kawasaki Switzerland. This allows the Swiss Kawasaki, also ridden by David Morillon and Horst Saiger, to score a fantastic second place on the provisional starting grid, ahead of the Spanish Yamaha of YMES Folch Endurance, who takes advantage of the homogeneity of its pair of riders, Dani Ribalta and Pedro Vallcaneras.
For a few tenths of a second, Yamaha Austria Racing Team is relegated tonight to a fourth place on the provisional starting grid, ahead of Yamaha Phase One, who has received the support of British Superbike rider Glen Richards, next to permanent rider Damian Cudlin. In sixth place of this first qualifying session is Maco Moto Racing, who also got his own freelancer as World SBK rider Jakub Smrz. He is pairing with Thomas Hinterreiter and Jason Pridmore, who crashed this afternoon. This is more back luck for the Slovakian team, since Maco Moto also broke an engine during the first free practice session.
Qatar Endurance Racing Team IJT confirms his leadership on the Superstock class, and took the eighth overall time from this first qualifying session in Doha. Qatari rider Mashel Al Naimi was very fast today on the Suzuki QERT IJT, but Anthony Delhalle lost some time in recovering from a crash, fortunately with no injuries. QERT IJT is ahead of Yamaha LTG 57. Third in the Superstock class is the Suzuki Endurance Moto 45.
The second qualifying session will take place tomorrow Friday morning. The 8 Hours of Doha will start on Saturday at 1 pm.
Live results on www.ris-timing.be/circuit/8hdoha/2008/index.htm