HONDA TT LEGENDS QUALIFY IN PROVISIONAL SEVENTH AT LE MANS

Mathieu Gines

Mathieu Gines

The 35th edition of the 24 Heures du Mans got underway today with the first of two qualifying sessions taking place in warm and sunny conditions. The Honda TT Legends took to the French circuit one-by-one for 30 minutes apiece with the combined fastest times placing them seventh on the provisional grid. BMW Motorrad France secured provisional pole.

John McGuinness and Cameron Donald both posted times in the 1.40s, while stand-in rider and Le Mans specialist Mathieu Gines secured a lap of 1.39:025, equalling a combined average time of 1.40:071. The crew  will be making some changes to the bike set-up with the aim of improving lap times in the second qualifying session tomorrow morning.

Simon Andrews has joined the team in Le Mans as reserve and took part in the fourth and final qualifying session today. Reserve rider times do not count towards qualifying, so Andrews was able to steadily reacquaint himself with the Honda TT Legends Fireblade following his crash at the Isle of Man TT in June.

Neil Tuxworth – team manager
We’ve ended up in seventh overall, which is a good position to be in on the first day, but we do need to find some improvement in lap times, particularly for Cameron. We are making some changes to machine following the information provided by all the riders and we hope this will allow us to better our position tomorrow. 

John McGuinness 
It’s not a bad qualification. The top six teams tested here on Tuesday and they’re peaking now, so I guess we’re a day behind but I think we’ll be faster tomorrow. I’m actually quicker already than I was during the whole event last year. Like we always say, qualifying is not the be all and end all here, it’s where we’re going to be come 3pm on Sunday afternoon that’s the most important bit. 

Cameron Donald 
It didn’t go how I would have liked today, I would obviously like to be faster. I was considerably faster here last year. We made one or two changes on the bike that I struggled with a bit but it’s getting there. I went fastest on a race tyre, which is always positive and I’m feeling good on the bike. The other boys are doing a great job so we just need to bring our times together a bit and see if we can go faster tomorrow. Bring on another day of sunshine at Le Mans. 

Mathieu Gines 
It was a good day for me. We didn’t test this week so considering that the times are not so bad. I think we can definitely do better tomorrow but for the first day, seventh is ok. I am happy. 

Simon Andrews
It was my first time on the bike since the 2 June and it was great. It was so good to be back out there. My arm hurt a little bit and the ache gets worse and worse, but I just took it easy. I came in for a small rest and then just kept chipping away. I was cruising the last sector with the sun in my eyes and in was just so nice, I really enjoyed it and didn’t really want it to end. It was mega. 

John McGuinness

John McGuinness

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