Kawasaki, BMW and Suzuki all within one second
The season’s first major confrontation took place around mid-day on the Nevers Magny-Cours circuit with the free practice session for the 76th Bol d’Or. There are 55 teams gearing up to take to the track for this first round of the 2012 FIM Endurance World Championship. The SRC Kawasaki pulled off the best time just ahead of BMW Motorrad France Team TheEvent and the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, all with best laps under 1’41.
But this session was particularly eventful. Spillage on the track as a result of a broken engine caused all three leading bikes to bite the tarmac early on. The Kawasaki was unharmed following a skid and the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team came through more or less unscathed, but BMW Motorrad France Team ThEvent will be without their best S1000RR, which was virtually wrecked in the crash, for the first qualifying sessions of the afternoon.
Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube, fourth in the free practice session, managed to dodge the series of crashes and track exits that dogged this first session. Not so lucky was Monster Energy Yamaha YART, who crashed three times during the session and clocked up the fifth time of the free practice ahead of the Honda TT Legends.
The first Superstock team, Team Motors Events AMT Assurances (Suzuki), managed seventh place just ahead of the Kawasaki Louit Moto 33, whose riders include FIM Superstock 1000 Cup regulars Loris Baz and Jérémy Guarnoni.
The biggest imponderable for this weekend at Nevers Magny-Cours is the weather, one of the trickiest parameters for this 24-hour race. Scattered showers are forecast together with chilly temperatures between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
Free Practices results here