HONDA TT LEGENDS QUALIFY PROVISIONAL EIGHTH AT LE MANS

Honda TT Legends' John McGuinness

Honda TT Legends’ John McGuinness

The final round of the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship got underway today with the first qualifying sessions for the 24 Heures Moto at Le Mans. The Honda TT Legends currently lie in provisional eighth for Saturday’s race start at the legendary French circuit. Provisional pole was secured by SERT. 

The Honda TT Legends took to the track in a determined frame of mind and it paid off, with all four riders posting laps in the 1m39s bracket and within a few tenths of each other. Michael Dunlop set the fastest lap of 1.39:486, but as the listed fourth rider his times do not count towards the overall ranking. The combined average of the lap times set by Michael Rutter, Simon Andrews and John McGuinness (1.39:794) sees the team place eighth.

With just 0.1 second keeping the Honda TT Legends from a top five position, the team is even more determined to improve its performance in the final qualifying session, which begins at 11.20 CET tomorrow morning.

Neil Tuxworth – team manager 

This year’s hard work is starting to pay off and we’re seeing an improved performance all round. The riders did well today and it’s good to have them all so close to each other in lap times. The whole team is upbeat and determined to return a good result and because of that we find ourselves only a tenth off fifth place. Our aim now is to do everything we can to scale our times by that tenth to rank fifth or sixth. 

John McGuinness

A good start really. We’re definitely in the ball park. All four riders are within 0.4 of each other and we can only improve so I think we’ll be in a good strong position to start the race. The weather was good, the bike is good and the team is in great spirits.

Michael Rutter 

I’m glad we had the test session on Tuesday as it meant we got a chance to learn the track a bit before we got started properly. It paid off as we’ve all done a 1.39 lap, which was the aim for today. Now we just need to go a bit faster tomorrow and hopefully we can get in the top five. 

Simon Andrews 

I’ve had a good day. We set out to achieve a lap time and we all reached it so that’s promising. The bike is going in the right direction, as is the mood of the team and we’re all looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow. I’m happy with my time, particularly in 60 bikes worth of traffic, but being so close to fifth is a great incentive to go quicker tomorrow. 

Michael Dunlop

It’s been a good day for the team overall as we achieved what we set out to achieve. I’m learning the track and we’re making good progress with the bike. We just need to find a bit more tomorrow to get a bit higher on the timesheet. 

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