2022 Bol d’Or: BMW claim maiden EWC pole with new lap record| World Staff | World News
BMW Motorrad will start the finale of the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship from pole position at the anniversary edition of the Bol d’Or.
Markus Rieterberger, Ilya Mikhalchik, Jeremy Guarnoni and Kenny Foray completed the two days of free practice and qualifying ahead of the 24-hour race by repeatedly challenging for the fastest times across the four groups. However, it was the Ukrainian’s 1’51.641 which ultimately sealed the deal with a new lap record at Circuit Paul Ricard. Data later confirming the 26-year-old reached a top speed of 342kph on the famous Mistral Straight.
YART Yamaha claimed second in the combined times ahead of championship leaders Yoshimura SERT Motul while Wójcik Racing took pole in the Dunlop-supported Superstock category, for the second consecutive round.
“First of all we are really happy about this pole position,” Mikhalchik said on Friday. “It’s been quite a long wait to make it and finally we get it by showing the work of the whole team and all the riders.
“It was an enjoyable day yesterday and again today. There was quite a lot of problems with traffic but I had a quite normal strategy to wait for everyone to be gone and I exited on an almost empty track. I managed a good slipstream at the beginning but then I decided not to use the slipstream and just ride along. Maybe I lose a few tenths on the straight but then I won some time in the third sector and the last one. I did a few really good laps and then we finished in the highest position.”
“I’d not ridden a bike for three months and at the beginning it took me some time to get going,” Wójcik’s Danny Webb added. “But after we found a good setting with the bike yesterday I knew that my confidence would just grow.
“In the night practice I found another good feeling in myself. I was unlucky with traffic yesterday and today I didn’t get a good slipstream but I could see a rider in front of me and that, for sure, helped.
“The team has done a fantastic job. We didn’t do the pre-test so for us to get such a good setting on the bike this fast is amazing. We’ve been very unlucky in the races this season but we’ve always shown we are fast. We have a good setting, we all feel comfortable and we just need to manage the situations in the race and get the result we deserve for the whole team because everybody works incredibly hard and puts in 100 per cent effort.”