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Steve Plater will start this year’s Bol d’Or 24-hour World Endurance race from second place on the grid for the French Yamaha team GMT 94 behind current world champions SERT.
Qualifying was a close run affair with SERT sealing pole position just a couple of hundredths of a second ahead of the GMT94 team which comprises of Steve Plater, Sebastien Gimbert and David Checa. The Yamaha team will be anxious to repeat last year’s result as they actually won the race in 2007.
However Steve was not in the winning team last year as he was riding for Kawasaki France and they failed to finish because of mechanical problems with the machine during the night but he did finish third with Kawasaki in 2006.
“We are in with a good chance of the win here at Magny Cours,” said Plater. “All three riders have a good race pace and the bike is running well for us. My team mate Sebastien Gimbert remains the fastest rider overall this weekend with a 1m 40,826s lap posted on Thursday and I bettered my earlier time by three quarters of a second today in final qualifying so we only missed out on pole position by a fraction of a second.”
Asked what sort of result he was looking for this time, Plater replied: “Nothing less than a win will satisfy me this weekend.”
The race will be tight between the SERT Suzuki 1, current World Champion, and 2007 Bol d’Or winner Yamaha GMT 94. They are not the only contenders for victory, however. Yamaha Austria Racing Team took third place on the starting grid with Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani. YART is also leading by a small margin the Kawasaki France ridden by Erwan Nigon, Ivan Silva and Julian Mazuecos. The first four bikes on the starting grid are all below the 1’42 mark on the average time of their three riders.
The race is set to begin at 2pm GMT (3pm CET) on Saturday and run all through the night with the three riders taking turns to ride for an hour each throughout the 24 hours until the chequered flag is waved at 2pm GMT on Sunday.

Yamaha Phase One Endurance have qualified in ninth place for tomorrow’s Bol d’Or 24 Hour round of the Endurance FIM World Championship with an aggregate time of 1:43.540. The lap time is based on the average of the best laps put in by riders Damian Cudlin, Graeme Gowland and Jorg Teuchert over two qualifying sessions which took place yesterday and today.

Team manager Russell Benney said: “Qualifying has gone well for us. Most of our qualifying was done on Thursday; we finished eighth on aggregate yesterday. Because we were happy with that position we spent all our time today on race set-up, doing race tyre comparisons and a little bit of tweaking here and there. So we haven’t been out on qualifying tyres today, and as a consequence we’ve dropped from eighth to ninth, but I’m not at all concerned with that.


“The set-up we’ve worked on today has really improved things, so we’re more than well equipped to do 1:44s or even 1:43s in the race. That’ll be enough to get us on the rostrum if we don’t have any problems.

“Working with Jorg Teuchert is absolutely fantastic. To have a former World Champion on the bike has brought quite a few unexpected benefits. His feedback is so precise, which I’ve rarely experienced before, and as a character he is quite unassuming so he has fitted into the team ever so well. He’s the quickest by a few tenths, but Damian Cudlin and Graeme Gowland are very close so it’s not a problem at all. Our reserve rider Pawel Szkopek has equalled the others in terms of speed; he’s clearly very fast and I hope if we have no problems in warm up in can find a ride with another team.” 

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