YART Yamaha Official EWC Team fended off stiff competition from BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Yoshimura SERT Motul to qualify on the 24H SPA EWC Motos pole position for the second straight season.
The Austrian outfit secured its first pole of 2023 on Friday after all four YART Yamaha riders, Niccolò Canepa, Marvin Fritz, Karel Hanika and Robin Mulhauser, topped the timing charts in First Qualifying. But they did not have it all their own way in Second Qualifying.
Belgium’s 2022 24H SPA EWC Motos winner BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team ended YART Yamaha’s qualifying dominance in the blue session, when Markus Reiterberger headed the order on a 2m20.295s.
Yoshimura SERT Motul’s Sylvain Guintoli stormed to top spot in the yellow group – finishing more than a second clear of his nearest rival – leading the way on 2m20.512s, with his team-mate Etienne Masson clocking the fastest time of 2m21.286s in the red group.
The Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team took pole in the Dunlop Superstock Trophy class, with Team 33 Louit April Moto placed second and National Motos Honda ranked third.
In the blue group, BMW Motorrad and Reiterberger were followed by KM99’s Lucas Mahias, who made it a one-two for the Belgian teams, taking second spot on 2m20.807s.
Third place went to F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Josh Hook on 2m20.989s, with Italian star Canepa placed fourth. After topping the First Qualifying charts for YART Yamaha, he registered 2m21.083s in Second Qualifying. Gregg Black was fifth for Yoshimura SERT Motul on 2m21.238s, while Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team’s Kenny Foray was the fastest blue rider in the Dunlop Superstock Trophy class once again on 2m24.151s.
In the yellow group, Guintoli’s time of 2m20.512s put him over a second clear of nearest rival Florian Marino of KM99, who clocked 2m21.576s.
Wójcik Racing Team EWC’s Isaac Viñales took third place on 2m21.906s, with YART Yamaha’s Fritz taking fourth with a 2m22.023s after topping the times in First Qualifying. F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Mike Di Meglio was fifth on a 2m22.380s. Team 33 Louit April Moto’s Christian Gamarino followed up first place in the Superstock yellow group’s First Qualifying by taking top spot again on 2m23.981s.
Yoshimura SERT Motul also led the charts in the red group, with Masson’s time of 2m21.286s followed by YART Yamaha’s Hanika, who registered a 2m21.378s in second. Belgium’s Bastien Mackels took third spot with 2m21.645s for KM99. Jérémy Guarnoni was fourth for BMW Motorrad on 2m22.219s, while Kawasaki Webike Trickstar’s Grégory Leblanc finished fifth on 2m22.381s. Loic Arbel led the Superstock timing charts on 2m24.257s for the Tecmas-MRP BMW Racing Team.
Mulhauser was quickest for YART Yamaha on the green reserve rider charts, clocking a time of 2m22.622. Next was KM99’s Christophe Ponsson, who followed up his third place in First Qualifying to finish second with 02m23.273s, while Belgium’s Vincent Lonbois took third spot on 2m24.431s for BMW Motorrad. Another home rider, Gian Mertens, was the fastest Superstock rider in the green category on 2m27.871s for TRT27 Bazar 2 La Bécane.
Full qualifying report and rider quotes to follow soon with the second 24H SPA EWC Motos, round two of the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship, getting under way at 14h00 CET on Saturday.