BMW France will start the Le Mans 24-Hour from pole position for the second time in a row after a dominant performance saw the S1000RR top the timesheet in both qualifying sessions at the Bugatti circuit.
Damian Cudlin and Erwan Nigon both topped their respective qualifying sessions yesterday, while Sébastien Gimbert placed second in his, but with an almost identical lap time to teammate Nigon. An average time of 1'37.351 was enough to secure BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent provisional pole position at the end of the opening day.
In this morning's final qualifying session it was again Cudlin who set the fastest lap aboard the Michelin shod S1000RR, with a time of 1'37.039 ensuring that, once again, he topped the timesheet in his 30 minute qualifying session. Gimbert also finished his final qualifying session on top, after posting a time of 1'37.644 on his last flying lap, while Nigon was just over a second further back with a time of 1'38.787.
The average of all three lap times was enough to give BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent their second pole position at Le Mans in as many years but, for the riders, the focus remains tomorrow's race and the battle for the championship.
"Pole position is good for the riders, the team, BMW and Michelin, especially when it comes at the biggest endurance race of the season. But, we've been here before so we we're well aware of the fact that starting the race at the front doesn't guarantee finishing the race at the front," said Cudlin.
"It's going to be a tough race; there are a lot of strong teams out there and the competition is really high now, but we wouldn't have it any other way. We can't be thinking about the championship, we just need to go out there and try and win the race. Sure, if one of the leaders drops out then we can reassess the situation, but we can't afford to hang around, we need to push on from the start and try to control the race from the front."