Albacete 6hr Night-time Endurance

The Qatar Endurance Racing Team came away from the first qualifying round of the QMMF Endurance FIM World Championship at Albacete, with the advantage. The average of the rider’s best times will determine the grid line-up on completion of the second qualifying rounds which take place tomorrow. Looking strong on the Spanish track, Jose Luis Cardoso and Ivan Silva leave, unofficially, Kawasaki QERT leading the first qualifying round.

With its three-rider line-up, Steve Plater, Julian Mazuecos and Gwen Giabbani, Kawasaki Motor France takes second place close behind the QERT.

The best individual time was recorded by Vincent Philippe on the GSX-R of Suzuki Endurance Racing TEAM in 1' 32.052. The team are placed in third position after the averaging of Philippe’s time with team-mates Matthieu Lagrive and Julien Da Costa, meaning the pressure is still on for the Endurance World Championship title holders.

Behind Suzuki, the Yamaha teams, Yamaha Phase One and Yamaha Austria Racing Team sit in fourth and fifth position consecutively. Yamaha Spanish Folch Endurance sit in sixth position, the performance of its two top pilots, Victor Casas and David Tomas, enabling them to remain hopeful for a podium place as they go into the “6 Horas Nocturnas de Albacete".

On his Honda FCC TSR, Takeshi Tsujimura has found form, whilst his team-mate, Yoshiyuki Suga was less lucky. As a result, the Japanese CBR1000RR currently sits in seventh position, right in front of Kawasaki Bolliger Switzerland.

The Italian Ducati of Spanish team, RPM-Expert Flumotion, ridden by Dani Ribalta and Pascal Pegaz rises into ninth place amongst the almost all-Japanese bike line-up of bikes sitting in the top nine.

The second qualifying round takes place on Saturday from 9.30am at the Albacete circuit. The final starting grid will be determined by the average of the best times at the end of the second qualifying round. The race begins at 6.00pm

First qualifying – fastest times (unofficial average)

1. Qatar Endurance Racing Team (QAT/Kawasaki). 1’32.903
2. Kawasaki Motor France (FRA/Kawasaki) 1’32.940
3. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (FRA/Suzuki).1’33.001
4. Yamaha Phase One Endurance (GBR/Yamaha). 1’33.836
5. Yamaha Austria Racing Team (AUT/Yamaha). 1’34.706
6. Folch Endurance (ESP/Yamaha) 1’34.747
7. FCC TSR (JPN/Honda). 1.34.748
8. Bolliger Team Switzerland (SUI/Kawasaki). 1’34.929
9. RPM-Expert Flumotion (ESP/Ducati). 1’35.699

Calendar / Calendrier 2007

April 21/22 - France - Le Mans (24h.)
May 5 - Spain/Espagne - Albacete (6h.)
July 29 - Japan/ Japon - Suzuka (8h.)
August 11/12 - Germany/Allemagne - Oschersleben (24h.)
September 15/16 - France - Magny Cours (Bol d’Or)
November 10 - Qatar - Doha (6hr.)