Following the second qualifying sessions for the Oschersleben 8 Hours in Germany yesterday, the Honda Racing team will start todays’s race from fifth on the grid – fourth in the Endurance World Championship class.
Having worked late into the night to rebuild the Honda Racing CBR1000RR Firebalde SP after Julien Da Costa’s crash, the team had the machine back on track in time for this afternoon’s qualifying. Da Costa took part in the first of the three 20-minute sessions, taking it steady on the initial run out for the rebuilt bike.
Sebastien Gimbert completed the second session as the fastest rider, posting an improved lap of 1:27.115, while Freddy Foray placed sixth in his group. Honda Racing’s combined time of 1:27.489 puts the team fifth on the grid for the race, 0.286 seconds behind pole sitters Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team. SRC Kawasaki qualified second with Monster Energy Yamaha and Yamaha Racing GMT94 in third and fourth.
The Oschersleben 8 Hours will begin at 12.00 CEST today.
Neil Tuxworth team manager
Today’s session was good for the team for two reasons: we had no problems whatsoever and all three riders lapped as a similar time to one another. We may have dropped two places on the grid but we’re still only 0.2 seconds off pole position and that is plenty good enough for an eight hour endurance race, especially considering that we did all our qualifying on race tyres. With the three riders we have and assuming there are no issues, I think we certainly have a good chance of winning the race here in Germany.
Julien Da Costa
After my crash yesterday, the crew had to build a new bike so I had to be careful during my session. I had yesterday’s tyre in too so I took it steady to make sure that everything is ok on the bike, which it is. Now we are ready to race. We are fifth but not far off pole so it’s not bad for us. All our lap times were on a race tyre so we are very confident that we can get up to first by the end of the first hour.
In endurance, the place on the grid is not so important. We are fast on the race tyre and we will stay confident for the race. I have a problem with my own performance, but that is nothing to do with the bike. Tomorrow the forecast is for some rain in the late afternoon so if that happens it could be an eventful race.
We are fifth but we have eight hours in the race and gaining four positions is not so difficult. The battle with the other teams is good for the crowd and for the championship and it should be an interesting race. I have to thank the team because they worked through the night to rebuild the bike and we have a very good bike. I improved my time and I have a good feeling for tomorrow. I want to win!