Qualifying was a close run affair with SERT sealing pole position just a couple of hundredths of a second ahead of the GMT94 team which comprises of Steve Plater, Sebastien Gimbert and David Checa. The Yamaha team will be anxious to repeat last year’s result as they actually won the race in 2007.
However Steve was not in the winning team last year as he was riding for Kawasaki France and they failed to finish because of mechanical problems with the machine during the night but he did finish third with Kawasaki in 2006.
“We are in with a good chance of the win here at Magny Cours,” said Plater. “All three riders have a good race pace and the bike is running well for us. My team mate Sebastien Gimbert remains the fastest rider overall this weekend with a 1m 40,826s lap posted on Thursday and I bettered my earlier time by three quarters of a second today in final qualifying so we only missed out on pole position by a fraction of a second.”
Asked what sort of result he was looking for this time, Plater replied: “Nothing less than a win will satisfy me this weekend.”
The race will be tight between the SERT Suzuki 1, current World Champion, and 2007 Bol d’Or winner Yamaha GMT 94. They are not the only contenders for victory, however. Yamaha Austria Racing Team took third place on the starting grid with Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani. YART is also leading by a small margin the Kawasaki France ridden by Erwan Nigon, Ivan Silva and Julian Mazuecos. The first four bikes on the starting grid are all below the 1’42 mark on the average time of their three riders.
The race is set to begin at 2pm GMT (3pm CET) on Saturday and run all through the night with the three riders taking turns to ride for an hour each throughout the 24 hours until the chequered flag is waved at 2pm GMT on Sunday.
The Bol d’Or is the penultimate round of the World Endurance championship in which Plater is holding second place in the championship with Yamaha Austria (YART). The final round is at Doha in Qatar on November 8 when Plater is expected to return to the YART team and is hoping to end the season on a high by sealing the World Endurance title with them.