YART Yamaha Official EWC Team completed a clean sweep in 24H SPA EWC Motos First Qualifying as Niccolò Canepa, Marvin Fritz, Karel Hanika and Robin Mulhauser all topped the timing charts in their respective rider groups at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Italian star Canepa kicked off the session in style in the blue group, finishing nearly a second quicker than his rivals, clocking 2m19.154s on his sixth lap as the Austrian team continued its blistering pace in Belgium after also leading the way in Free Practice this morning.
His efforts were rapidly followed by a 2m19.352s mark from German racer Fritz in the yellow group, before Hanika – last year’s fastest man in qualifying – notched a 2m19.347s in the red riders’ session. Swiss rider Robin Mulhauser then sealed YART Yamaha’s dominance in the green reserves group with the fastest time of 2m22.531s.
Canepa dominated the blue group, clocking 2m19.154s. Yoshimura SERT Motul’s Gregg Black was second on 2m20.057s, with Josh Hook from reigning EWC champion F.C.C. TSR Honda France placed third with 2m20.261s. Honda Viltaïs Racing’s Florian Alt was fourth with 2m20.668s, while Markus Reiterberger from Belgium’s 2022 24H SPA EWC Motos-winning BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team took fifth place on 2m20.677s. Tecmas-MRP BMW Racing Team’s Kenny Foray was fastest in the Dunlop Superstock Trophy class with a time of 2m23.168s.
Fritz continued YART Yamaha’s blistering pace in the yellow group on 2m19.352s. BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team’s Illya Mykhalchyk made a late surge to second place on his sixth lap, registering 2m20.125s, while Yoshimura SERT Motul’s Sylvain Guintoli left it even later – clocking 2m20.718s on his seventh lap. Steven Odendaal was fourth for Honda Viltaïs Racing on 2m21.210s, while F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Mike Di Meglio was fifth on 2m21.333s. Team 33 Louit April Moto’s Christian Gamarino led the Superstock class on 2m24.204s.
Hanika then notched 2m19.347s to lead the red group, although he was unable to match his 2022 best qualifying time of 2m18.845s. Alan Techer of F.C.C. TSR Honda France registered 2m20.354s in second place, with Etienne Masson taking third for Yoshimura SERT Motul on 2m20.966s. Honda Viltaïs Racing’s Leandro Mercado was fourth with a time of 2m21.446s and KM99’s home hero Bastien Mackels finished fifth on 2m21.879s. National Motos Honda led the Superstock class as Guillaume Raymond clocked 2m24.516s.
Mulhauser completed a fine First Qualifying for YART Yamaha on 2m22.531s in the green reserves group. Honda Viltaïs Racing’s James Westmoreland was second on 2m23.149s, with KM99’s new recruit Christophe Ponsson third on 2m23.685s. In the Superstock green group, Belgian Cöme Geenen registered the fastest time of 2m27.172s on his first appearance for Chromeburner-RAC41-Honda.
The final qualifying results are based on the average time of the fastest two riders from each team. Second Qualifying at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is due to get under way at 15h15 CET.