The final of the Endurance World Championship will be held tomorrow at 8:00 CET and will see the KAWASAKI Ninja ZX-10 RR start from the 8th position, 1.3 seconds from pole position.
This is the second event of the season to take place behind closed doors for all motorcycle endurance riders, who will once again have to compete without an audience, in strict compliance with health regulations.
These new race conditions once again do not lessen the suspense around these 12 hours (once is not customary) which will be exciting on this first occasion on this technical circuit which will not be restful for the riders, who however do not dry up praise on this track benefiting from reliefs.
In preparation for the first qualifying session, new suspension settings were adopted in order to perfect the set-up and continue to adapt the bike to the new MICHELIN tires. During this first run, which began at 2:30 pm on Thursday (dry track ,summer temperatures), the three KAWASAKI #1 riders Jeremy GUARNONI, Erwan NIGON and David CHECA once again demonstrated their speed, but also and above all their consistency, as all three were within two-tenths of a second of each other. Without a doubt, this is a precious asset in the race.
On Friday 9:00 am takes place the second part of the qualifications. A lower track temperature didn't prevent our three riders from performing again riding together at a similar rhythm as the day before. And like the day before, they are standing in 2 tenths of a second. Being among the first in qualifying practices is important (especially as 5 points are awarded for the poleman) but the Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar team does not have qualifying tires unlike its direct rivals. As was the case at Le Mans, all hopes are high for a better performance during this race, especially as MICHELIN racing tires have the particularity and advantage of reducing the pit stops while maintaining a high level of grip.
Jeremy GUARNONI, the youngest of the three riders, gave us the following feedback:
Personally, I think the bike is better than in Le Mans. We're just over a second behind our rivals, but this is only our second race in MICHELIN, which suggest that we have a good margin for improvement in the next season.
But before that and in the immediate future, we are focused on tomorrow with the firm intention of getting involved at the front of the race, even though it will be difficult to claim victory on a regular basis. On the other hand, we will be aiming for the podium and will rely on our strong points, namely the consistency in the performance between the three of us, the team's speed during pit stops, and our KAWASAKI of course which has no faults and has the advantage of being very trustful.
The pressure is on the shoulders of our rivals, the KAWASAKI #1 being able to play the accessits like in Le Mans. A vice-world champion title is at stake. Gilles STAFLER's entire team is ready and determined for this unique final, which promises to be exciting given the specificities of the Portuguese track. Let us also specify that a 12-hour race instead of 8 is not to displease us, our bike and riders being rather cut out for the long run.
For memory, we recall that the start of the race was advanced at 8 hours CET. For this closing round, the sun will be at the rendezvous like the previous days and the air temperature should be around 15 degree Celsius.
In order not to miss anything of the race, two channels will be in charge of the live broadcast: EUROSPORT 2 as well as L'EQUIPE TV.
And Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kawasaki_france_offciel/
News by turn: https://www.fimewc.fr/live-timing/