An electrifying 24H SPA EWC Motos qualifying has delivered its verdict from a sunny Friday in Spa-Francorchamps. The day was dominated by YART - Yamaha Official Team EWC, with the fastest time set by Karel Hanika placing the Austrian teams Yamaha No. 7 on the front of the grid on Saturday, their third consecutive pole position in the FIM Endurance World Championship, after the 6 Hours of Most 2021 and the 24 Heures Motos 2022.
The overall qualifying times (the average of two fastest team times set by the riders throughout the sessions) sees the YART in pole, half a second ahead of the BMW No. 37 from BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM second and the Suzuki No. 1, World Champion bike with the Yoshimura SERT Motul team third on the grid.
Day 2 started strong in the Blue group, with the four riders separated by less than seven tenths of a second at the front. Gregg Black and his Suzuki No. 1 (Yoshimura SERT Motul) delivered the fastest lap in 2'19.368, just +0.017 ahead of Markus Reiterberger’s BMW No. 37 (BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM). Niccolo Canepa also came in under the 2’20 marker with his YART Yamaha No. 7, but not Josh Hook who took fourth in 2'20.047 with the Honda No. 5 (F.C.C. TSR Honda France).
The same three bikes occupied the first three places in the Yellow group, but not in the same order. Marvin Fritz put the Yamaha No. 7 of YART into the lead, setting the only 2’19 time of the session (2'19.826). Behind him was the BMW No. 37 in the hands of Illya Mykhalchyk (BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM), and the Suzuki No. 1 of Xavier Simeon (Yoshimura SERT Motul). The Belgian rider lost time due to a problem with his rear light, but was finally able to set a good lap time in the final moments of the session.
Still hungry, the Yamaha No. 7 then went on to dominate the Red group, with Karel Hanika setting the weekends fastest time with an impressive 2'18.845. The Czech rider asserting himself over the pack by more than a second. French riders Sylvain Guintoli (Yoshimura SERT Motul) and Mike di Meglio (F.C.C. TSR Honda France) completed the podium of the session. Thanks to this performance, Karel Hanika won the Nathalie Maillet trophy.
The YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC (Yamaha No. 7), the BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM (BMW No. 37) and the Yoshimura SERT Motul (Suzuki No. 1) are the principal players so far this weekend, followed by the F.C.C. TSR Honda France team (Honda No.5) in fourth, and the WEBIKE SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE (Kawasaki No. 11) in fifth.
In the Superstock category, the Wójcik Racing Team STK 777 (Yamaha No. 777) clinched pole from its rivals, at the same time as twelfth place in the scratch classification. In the chasing pack the competition was equally as fierce between the Kawasaki No. 24 (BMRT 3D MAXXESS NEVERS), the Honda No. 55 (NATIONAL MOTOS HONDA), the Yamaha No. 18 at the head of the championship (TEAM 18 SAPEURS POMPIERS CMS MOTOSTORE) and the Yamaha No. 94 (TEAM 18 SAPEURS POMPIERS CMS MOTOSTORE) split by just 267 thousandths of second to fifth position. A microscopic difference regarding to the length of the track and its complexity.
The 38 teams will be able to make some final adjustments during the warm-up session, scheduled on Saturday from 9 to 9.45am. The official start of the 24H SPA EWC Motos will be given at 1pm, after a busy morning with the second race of the European Handy Bridgestone Cup (10.40 - 11.10am), then the second race of the FIM Sidecar World Championship (11.25 - 11.55am).
Top-5 Formula EWC :
1. YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC (Yamaha No. 7) – 2’19.170
2. BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM (BMW No. 37) – 2’19.703
3. Yoshimura SERT Motul (Suzuki No. 1) – 2’19.845
4. F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Honda No. 5) – 2’20.223
5. WEBIKE SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE (Kawasaki No. 11) – 2’21.072
Top-5 Superstock :
1. Wójcik Racing Team STK 777 (Yamaha No. 777) – 2’23.948
2. BMRT 3D MAXXESS NEVERS (Kawasaki No. 24) – 2’24.257
3. NATIONAL MOTOS HONDA (Honda No. 55) – 2’24.349
4. TEAM 18 SAPEURS POMPIERS CMS MOTOSTORE (Yamaha No. 18) – 2'24.415
5. TEAM LH RACING (Yamaha No. 94) – 2’24.524