The Honda Endurance Racing team has enjoyed strong practice and qualifying sessions aboard the all-new Honda Fireblade at the Slovakia Ring, and will start tomorrow’s eight-hour race from seventh place.
The Honda squad has been working hard with its endurance specialists, Freddy Foray, Julien Da Costa and Sébastien Gimbert, in order to optimise the set-up of the Fireblade for the 5,922km circuit.
The Slovakia Ring is a new event in the FIM Endurance World Championship calendar but this, mixed with high track temperatures, has not stopped the Honda team who have not been outside the top-ten during all practice and qualifying sessions.
The final qualifying session took place this morning and with conditions slightly cooler following overnight rain, Foray, Da Costa and Gimbert finished seventh fastest overall (2:05.897), with the combined times from yesterday’s qualifying, just 1.4 seconds behind pole sitters YART.
The 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring race takes place slightly earlier than originally scheduled tomorrow (Saturday 24 June) at 1330 CEST. To get all the latest updates from the race.
You know I am happy with how things have been going so far here, for sure it’s not perfect but our race pace is pretty good, so I think it’s a good thing. We have to wait for tomorrow as the temperature will be higher, so the race will be difficult, but we did have high temperatures yesterday so we are a little prepared with the heat. I think if we have no problems and continue to push and progress like we have been then for sure we can finish on the podium, but with racing anything can happen. So we will do the best job we can and hopefully this time, luck will be on our side.
– Honda Endurance Racing
Julien Da Costa
We have got off to a good start and we are improving with each session when we are on track. We’re also getting better feedback with the CBR, the team is working hard in each session to find a good way to work and I think we have found a new solution to be able to close the gap with the front group. I think the race is looking good for tomorrow, we have good pace and our fastest laps are coming in race conditions, so we are looking forward to tomorrow where we hope we can run with the front group throughout and finish in the top-five for sure.
– Honda Endurance Racing
Yesterday I have to admit I was not happy as I lost some time with my laps, but today it seemed easier and I was able to utilise my rear tyre a lot more during qualifying and push a lot more, so the lap time is not so bad. We have a good set-up with the Fireblade for the race, it’s a very good bike, of course you always want more as a rider, but what we have for tomorrow I am confident with. For me the objective is simple, to finish in the top-five, I am confident with all areas from my team-mates and the Honda team, so I am ready to race. The circuit is good and offers a lot with every corner, as there are fast, slow and chicanes, so for me the circuit is perfect.