Honda TT Legends to start the Albacete eight-hour from fifth
The Honda TT Legends completed the second qualifying session at Albacete, Spain this morning with a combined time of 1:32.436 to secure a fifth place start in tonight’s race – two places up from the team’s grid position at the Bol d’Or.
John McGuinness showed the most improvement, posting his fastest ever time around the Circuito Albacete. The Isle of Man TT winner demonstrated his pace with a 1:32.463 lap, ending his 30-minute stint in seventh. For teammate Steve Plater, the focus was on riding with a full tank on race tyres, however he still finished his session third fastest.
Third rider Keith Amor was the last of the Honda TT Legends to head out on track. The Scotsman also set his quickest lap time yet before a minor crash forced him to retire from the session. The combined average time of all three riders means the team will start the race from fifth on the grid.
Steve Plater will do the first stint of the “8-horas of Albacete” for the Honda TT Legends. The race will begin at 6pm local time – follow @HondaTTLegends on Twitter for real-time updates.
Neil Tuxworth, team manager
It’s been another successful qualifying session for the team – particularly John and Keith who both managed to improve on their times. Unfortunately Keith suffered a minor crash and was unable to finish his session but he had just posted a fast lap so it didn’t have too much of an effect on the overall time. We’ve ended up in fifth, which is two places higher than we qualified at the first round, so we have to be happy with that. I think we are in a good position and hopefully we can get in the top four tomorrow, if not on the podium.
I’m happy with the final position. I wasn’t thinking about having to go faster today, it was more a case of trying a full tank of fuel with a new set of race tyres to make sure everything is working well for the start of the race. John and Keith both went a little bit quicker than yesterday so we held our position, which is perfect. The weather’s looking good and we’ll aim for a nice steady start and hopefully hold the pace up at the front.
I’m pleased with my time today and overall we’re only a second or so off the leaders. It took me a few laps to get my confidence back after the fall yesterday so we just eased in to it, then got some clear track and did a couple of 32s, which is a good lap time. If we can do those in the race consistently then we won’t be far away. As we’ve said before, grid position is not as important in endurance racing. Steve’s going to go first and he is on it on the race tyres. I’m looking forward to it – the sun is shining, the bike’s good, we’ve worked hard to get a good race package so fingers crossed we can make a decent start and hang in there lap after lap. I’ve every confidence in the team in terms of slick pit stops so I don’t think we’ll be a million miles away.
That was not an ideal session for me. Unfortunately when I was pushing for a lap time, I leant the bike over too far at the hairpin and slid slowly into the gravel trap. Thankfully the bike wasn’t too badly damaged and I managed to get it back to the pits. I was really enjoying myself up until that point, I was starting to get into it and I’d done my fastest lap. Fifth is still good and hopefully the Steve and John will be able to be up at the front in the race.
Endurance World Championship round two – Albacete
Qualifying two – results
1 S.E.R.T. 1:31.052
2 BMW MOTORRAD FRANCE 99 1:31.120
3 MONSTER YAMAHA - YART 1:31.148
4 YAMAHA FRANCE GMT 94 IPON 1:31.641
5 HONDA TT LEGENDS 1:32.436
6 VAN-ZON BOENIG MOTORSPORT 1:32.713
7 MACO RACING TEAM 1:32.765
8 NATIONAL MOTOS 1:32.781
9 AM MOTO RACING 1:33.022
10 YMES FOLCH ENDURANCE 1:33.023