World Endurance: YART on 12-Hour Pole At Estoril


YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team dominated the second qualifying session and took top spot on the starting grid of the 12 Hours of Estoril ahead of BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Yoshimura SERT Motul. The quickest Superstock, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers, is 9th on the starting grid.

YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team were very strong this morning in the second qualifying session. Karel Hanika beat the record set in qualifying by Markus Reiterberger in 2020. The factory Yamaha’s Czech rider completed an impressive 1:37.674 fastest lap just ahead of his teammate Marvin Fritz with a 1:37.857. They were the only two riders to come in under the 1:38 mark in these sessions.

YART riders celebrate World Endurance pole position at Estoril. Photo courtesy FIM.
YART riders celebrate World Endurance pole position at Estoril. Photo courtesy FIM.

The average of the team’s three fastest times saw YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team dominate with nearly a one-second lead over BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Yoshimura SERT Motul.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France will start from 4th ahead of Tati Team Beringer Racing, who are among the leaders despite the absence of Alan Techer, and VRD Igol Experiences. The latter two, both independent teams, are ahead of two factory teams, ERC Endurance-Ducati and Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar.

In Superstock, a Kawasaki led the field. The first in class on the starting grid, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers, will start from 9th position tomorrow (Saturday) ahead of Moto Ain, who held back by crashes. Other rivals for the Superstock win who are well placed on the grid are Team 33 Louit April Moto, Wójcik Racing Team and National Motos.

Following crashes in practice yesterday (Thursday), two riders have had to withdraw due to injuries. Dominik Vincon will be replaced by Nigel Walraven in the saddle of Team LRP Poland’s BMW. As for Players, Axel Aynié and Arnaud de Kimpe will have to run the 12-hour race as a twosome in the absence of Matthieu Thibault.

The 12 Hours of Estoril will be flagged off at 9am local time on Saturday in Portugal.


More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

FIM EWC: Second on the grid for BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team at 12 Hours of Estoril.

Second event of the season in the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship.
Xavi Forés, Markus Reiterberger and Kenny Foray finish in second place in combined qualifying with the #37 BMW M 1000 RR.
Race in Estoril gets underway at 9 a.m. local time on Saturday.

Estoril. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team will start the 12-hour race in Estoril (PO), the second round of the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC), from second on the grid with the #37 BMW M 1000 RR. In the two-part qualifying session on Thursday and Friday, the three riders Xavi Forés (ESP), Markus Reiterberger (GER) and Kenny Foray (FRA) achieved an average lap time of 1:38,773 minutes, qualifying in second place.

After testing on Tuesday, the “12 Hours of Estoril” officially got underway with the free practice session at lunchtime on Thursday. Reiterberger got the best time of 1:39.094 minutes with the #37 M RR. Forés beat this in qualifying, securing the best time of the day with a time of 1:38.707 minutes. The average times of the best times of each of a team’s riders are used to calculate the starting positions.

The 12-hour race in Estoril gets underway at 9.00 a.m. local time (10.00 a.m. CEST) on Saturday (17th July). The privateer BMW Team LRP Poland will start the race from 14th on the grid with their #90 BMW S 1000 RR.

Quotes after qualifying for the ‘12 Hours of Estoril’.

Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “I am quite happy about qualifying. All three riders did a very good job. Xavi and Markus both rode 1:38 times, which was very strong, and also Kenny did a very good job. He went out in the end when there was oil on the track, but still bettered his lap time. I am especially very happy about the race pace, and that is most important. We are among the frontrunners, all looks good, the team atmosphere is good. I expect an interesting fight for the first three places.”

Markus Reiterberger: “We can be pleased with the qualifying sessions. We all rode on the same set of tyres yesterday. Xavi got a fantastic time, and then Kenny and I were on used tyres, but still did well. It was cooler this morning and everyone was using new tyres. All three of us improved on our times. Second place is incredibly important for the start. Now we will come up with a good strategy for tomorrow. No doubt it will be a tough, long, hot race. But we are all feeling good and are happy with the lap times and the feeling on the bike. Thanks go to the team, and now it’s time to go full throttle in the race.”

Xavi Forés: “It was a positive qualifying for us because all three of us riders have been more or less on the same pace, which is quite good for the race. Starting from second position is actually quite good because we have a good pace for the entire race distance and the tyre life also has been quite good. We will try to push hard, to fight for the win, to achieve a strong result for the team and to collect important points for the championship.”

Kenny Foray: “It was a good qualifying, even if I was not totally satisfied with my second session. It was difficult to manage the tyre and I didn’t have a clear lap. But overall we are happy with the race pace and the feeling with the race tyre. So for me, I am confident for tomorrow. As we always say: The race is tomorrow, but it is good to secure second place in qualifying.”