EIGHTH PLACE START FOR HONDA TT LEGENDS AT LE MANS

Cameron Donald

Cameron Donald

The Honda TT Legends will start the final round of the 2012 Endurance World Championship from eighth on the grid following the second qualifying day ahead of the 24 Heures du Mans, which will take place from 15.00 CET on Saturday.

Today’s session was delayed due to an oil spillage from the earlier sidecar practice, which meant the first wave of riders were forced to take it relatively steady. As a result, McGuinness was unable to better yesterday’s time, however second rider Cameron Donald and third rider Mathieu Gines both improved, posting 1.40.423 and 1.38.902 laps respectively.

Despite a one-place drop to eighth on the grid, the team is happy with today’s progress as the main focus was on finding the right race set-up for Saturday’s 24-hour battle. The riders and crew are in a positive frame of mind and ready to defend their position in the championship standings at the season finale.

BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent will start from pole, with SRC Kawasaki second and championship leaders SERT third.

Russell Benney – race manager
Today’s session was upset from the word go after the oil spillage during the sidecar practice. John was under instruction to go cautiously, which he did, and it quickly became evident that the track was about a second slower than yesterday. We knew he wouldn’t be able to improve his times so instead we switched the focus to set-up and made some significant changes to rear suspension. That worked out well and took us forward a step. By the time Cameron and Mathieu went out, the oil had been cleared and that allowed them both to make an improvement. Cam did two exceptionally quick first and second sectors and if he hadn’t got caught in traffic he would have secured a 1.39 lap, so realistically all our riders are about a second apart. We’ve had no crashes and no major issues, so overall we are in a good position and feeling positive.

John McGuinness
We’re in the top ten, which is not too bad. We’ve been fifth in the three 24-hour races that we’ve done so far and I really feel like we deserve a podium. We’ve worked so hard and hopefully with a bit of luck we can get there. It’s a bit of a dream to win the championship this year I think, but you never know what’s going to happen. We’ve made some good changes and we’re all a bit happier with the set-up. Let’s see what happens in the race.

Cameron Donald
Of course we’d like to qualify higher, we say that at every round, but it’s a 24-hour race and the most important thing is that we have a good race set-up. I’ve struggled a bit this week but at the end of that qualifying session we made some changes and I feel much more comfortable on the bike. I’m feeling positive and I’m confident that I’ll be able to do a respectable pace in the race and keep the effort pushing along.

Mathieu Gines

Mathieu Gines

Mathieu Gines
It was a good day for me today and I was able to improve a little this afternoon. The others did some good work with the set-up of the bike and we are all feeling more positive ahead of the race tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it now and I hope we are able to finish in a good position.

The race will be streamed live on the FIM YouTube channel from 15.00 (Central European Time) on Saturday 8 September.

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Race Schedule – 24 Heures du Mans

Saturday 8 September
10.30 – 11.15: Warm-Up
12.30 – 14.00: Rider Presentation
15.00: Race Start

Sunday 9 September
15.00: Race Finish

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