EWC 2021
Round 3

Honda’s endurance teams qualify strongly for the Bol d’Or 2021

fr Paul Ricard Circuit

Honda’s endurance teams are ready to fight for the 84th Bol d’Or edition, the third round of the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship, which gets underway tomorrow 18th September at the 5.673km Paul Ricard Circuit.

Honda’s endurance teams qualify strongly for the Bol d’Or 2021

F.C.C. TSR Honda France with Josh Hook, Mike Di Meglio, and Yuki Takahashi placed their Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP fourth on the grid ahead of tomorrow’s 24-hour race after the two qualifying sessions.

The Frenchman Mike Di Meglio set the fastest lap in 2:00.490 at the Free practice during the first sessions on Thursday on a damp track. In the first qualifying session, the tricky weather conditions and the continuous rain prevented the team from doing a good qualifying result but it allowed the team to get important information in case of rain during the race. At the night session, when the weather improved, the Honda trio was the fastest again on the track.

On Friday, with sunshine and nearly perfect dry track conditions, the Japanese team signed the fourth fastest lap that puts the Honda #5 in the 4th position on the starting grid with a lap time of 1:53.660.

Further Honda teams lining up for the Bol d’Or include National Motos, who start 3rd and RAC41 Chromeburner 4th in the Superstock category.

National Motos, the leading team in the EWC Superstock category, is confident of achieving another podium with Guillaume Antiga, Stéphane Égea and Enzo Boulom, and increase the leading gap in the standings. The team worked on the Fireblade SP at the pre-test at Bol d’Or, and during the qualifying sessions, they adjusted some settings on the bike to have a good pace for the race. The #55 Honda bike set the third best laptime in the SST category (1:55.808).

Privateers RAC 41 Chromeburner signed the fourth fastest lap in the SST category (1:56.200). After the excellent performance of the Fireblade in all the sessions and in all track conditions, the team is convinced to get a good result. Last year, the team raced with the old Fireblade and the #41 riders, Chris Leesch, Grégory Fastré and Wayne Tessels can see a big difference with the new Fireblade that is extremely fast in this track and very good into the corners, what the team needs to be in front of the SST class.

The Bol d’Or starts tomorrow, Saturday 18 September at 3pm local time and will finish at 3pm on Sunday 19 September.

Josh Hook
Josh Hook 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
‘We had a good start. In our practice last night, we were the fastest, so we have a good base. The bike is working really well in all conditions, day, night and under the rain. Today’s qualifying for me wasn’t perfect, my choice of tyre did not allow me to be as fast as I could be, but overall, we are in a good position. We have a very good package for the race, and really looking forward to it with any conditions that we can face, and we have a good opportunity to do it well.’

Mike Di Meglio
Mike Di Meglio 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
‘Overall, the week is looking good. I am happy because on Tuesday it was a bit complicated and yesterday with the tricky weather conditions, we thought to find a better way in the rain, but today in the second qualifying our pace was very good. I am quite happy, I think it will be a very tough race because many teams are fast, and we need to be constant and not make mistakes. It is 24 hours race, and also there might be some rain in the night so it can be an interesting one’.

Yuki Takahashi
Yuki Takahashi 5
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
‘The weekend is going well. On Tuesday, we had dry weather conditions, and although yesterday it was raining and we had wet conditions, we are always in a good position in the standings, and our race pace is good. For today’s qualifying, I did my best lap time; however, I wanted to do a better one, but there was traffic on the track, and finally, I did it alone. For tomorrow, I am ready, the bike is working very well, and the team and my teammates are very fast, so really looking forward to it.’

Wayne Tessels
Wayne Tessels 41
Chromeburner RAC41 Honda
‘Our week is going very good. We didn’t do the Pre Bol d’Or test so we were quite new here with the new Fireblade but like on every track we are, it is pretty easy for us to go on speed with this bike. The bike was very good with rainy conditions on Thursday and on the second qualifying on dry conditions we were quite in front, we changed something on the bike and we improved quite a lot. Being fourth in SST with this bike gives the team a lot of confidence for tomorrow, we used race tyres and the pace was good in all conditions.
The Honda Fireblade is a really great bike, it is extremely fast here, of course there is a long straight so it is also important to have a top speed but also it is very good into the corners, so it is a really step ahead from the bike we had before. Last time, the team was here was with the old Fireblade and we can see a big difference which is great this is what we need to be in front of the SST class'

Enzo Boulom
Enzo Boulom 55
Honda National Motos
‘The team worked during the pre test at Bol d’Or on the Fireblade and for race week we adjusted some settings on the bike. We have now the pace for the race and also for the rainy conditions. The laptime in the qualifying session on dry conditions were very good so all is ready for the race.’

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