Team Suzuki Press Office – September 16.

Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R – 3rd

The work done by the Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Motul paid off in the final qualifying session at the Bol d'Or today. The reigning World Champion will start tomorrow from third position on the grid for the event that concludes the 2022 FIM EWC season.

The Franco-Japanese team, which had already set a good pace in the first practice session aboard the GSX-R1000R, resulting in the fifth best time, changed gear today for the final qualifying sessions.

Sunny skies and warm temperatures greeted the 43 teams competing in the Bol d'Or 2022 event. Gregg Black was the first Yoshimura SERT Motul rider to take to the track in the early morning. Benefiting from a mild temperature, he quickly found a fast pace and progressed quickly in the ranking. He finally set the third best time of the session with 1.52.068, improving his previous day's lap time by one and a half seconds.

The second practice session was marked by changing conditions with the arrival of the wind which disrupted the riders. However, Kazuki Watanabe managed to do well and set the third best time, in 1.52.508.

Despite a hand injury following a crash at the Suzuka 8-hour test at the beginning of August, Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli also managed to use the potential of the Suzuki GSX-R1000R. He recorded his best lap of 1.53.188 which put him fourth in his session.

The last qualifying session ended with the green armband reserve riders. Englishman Christian Iddon recorded a 1.54.230 lap to go second in his group.

The average of the two best times across all sessions placed the Yoshimura SERT Motul in third place on the grid, bagging three bonus points in the process, bringing the team’s total to 130.

The Bol d'Or will start at 3pm (local time) tomorrow, Saturday the 17th of September.

Damien SAULNIER – Team Manager:

“We still had some things to test before starting these qualifications. This was done last night and the results are very positive as we moved up from fifth to third place. Another important point is that all our riders feel good on the bike, with the best possible confidence. This is very important. For this final, our only goal is to win the title, but if victory is within our reach, we will of course go for it.”

Yohei KATO – Team Director:

“I'm quite happy because we have made a lot of progress with the set-up. The bike is easier to ride and more comfortable. So the riders were able to set much better lap times. We gained some grid positions thanks to the great work of the whole team. Of course, the race is a different matter, but I am confident that with our good pace we can fight for the win.”

Gregg BLACK:

“Yesterday we were focused on setting up the bike for the race. The pace was already good but we were looking to improve it today by focusing a bit more on qualifying this time. The aim was to finish ahead of our main rival, and we did it. In front of us, there are two qualifying specialists who are a little less dangerous in the championship. We are playing for the title while remaining quite close to them in terms of qualifying time. So it's very positive.”


“The track was very different today, especially because of the wind. We gained 10 km/h on the straight line, but the corners were more challenging. We validated a set-up that suits us well and we were able to improve our lap times. Third is a good position on the grid, because we were aiming for victory in the race and we are confident for the race.”


“My hand injury is not completely healed, but it is getting better and better. Our qualifying position today was really good. Yesterday we still had a few doubts about some settings, but in the night practice we found good solutions because today the bike behaved much better. So we are confident and ready for the race.”


Key FIM EWC timings (all CET):

Saturday 17 September:
08h30-09h15: Warm-up
15h00: Start of 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or

Sunday 18 September:
15h00: Finish of 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or
15h30 (approx.): Post-race press conference

Bol d’Or Image Gallery (David Reygondeau @ GoodShoot): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

For more stories about Christian Iddon, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Gregg Black, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Kazuki Watanabe, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Sylvain Guintoli, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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