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SBK, Canepa starts EWC 2024 season with record at Le Mans

Perfect day for the YART team, defending champions in the EWC, ending with a new Bugatti circuit benchmark on the first day of qualifying. Honda Viltais Racing sets the second fastest time

SBK: Canepa starts EWC 2024 season with record at Le Mans

The EWC 2024 season is off to the best possible start for the reigning YART champions. Niccolò Canepa set the fastest time on the first day of qualifying while also setting a new class record on the Bugatti track in Le Mans, which will host the 24-hour race this weekend. Canepa lapped in 1'34'708 making the most of the potential offered by his Bridgestones with an R1 that seems not to feel the weight of the years at all. Teammates Hanika and Fritz were unable to replicate Niccolò's times, both ending up about 3 tenths behind.

Honda responded with a second place for Viltais Racing, which is bringing the trio of Florian Alt, Steven Odendaal and Leandro Mercado to the race. Also on the third step of this virtual podium is a CBR of the FCC TSR team, with Hook, Mike Di Meglio and Alan Techer. Just further back is Sylvain Guintoli, who, after a long spell in Suzuki and SERT, has switched brands this season to Team BMW Motorrad World Endurance, completing the team with Ilya Mikhalchik and Markus Reiterberger. Fifth time just for Guintoli's former team, Yoshimura SERT lining up with Dan Linfoot as of this year in addition to the confirmed Gregg Black and Etienne Masson.

Subsequent sessions, including the night session, are underway. Tomorrow qualifying and Saturday the start of this first 24-hour EWC season round.


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