It’s been a tough start for Honda’s endurance specialists Freddy Foray, Julien Da Costa and Sébastien Gimbert, who will start the 8 Hours of Oschersleben from tenth place tomorrow (Saturday 20 May), after final qualifying took place earlier today.

With changeable track conditions at the 3.667km German circuit, the Honda Endurance Racing team is finding the cooler temperatures of today more beneficial for the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, than the higher temperatures experienced in yesterday’s practice and qualifying sessions.

During the final qualifying session this morning the team pushed hard with Foray third fastest in his session. The squad secured a best lap time of 1:28.509, which sees them tenth on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

The 8 Hours of Oschersleben takes place tomorrow, Saturday 20 May, with the race getting underway at 2pm CEST.

For live updates throughout the race follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.

Freddy  Foray

Freddy Foray 111

Well so far it has been difficult for us here in Germany, we are trying everything we can to make improvements so we just have to ride and try to understand the bike a little – it’s still a new machine to us, so every session at the moment we are learning. I think after this morning and if the weather stays cooler then we can have good race pace, and look to finish in the top-five. In EWC it’s not always the fastest team who has the best result. This morning was good, we made improvements and for me, of course it’s good to finish in the top-three. So for now we have to let the team do the work to the CBR and see what the race brings.

Honda Endurance Racing
Julien Da Costa

Julien Da Costa 111

Well, as we expected after Le Mans it’s not easy to be in the front, but we have found some good improvements with the Fireblade and we will continue with this into the race tomorrow. The team is working hard to find a solution with the corner exit and I know that we have the best team working to help us improve. For the moment all we can do is study, we are doing our own race and not focusing too much on the front, but for sure we can do something. This morning in the damp conditions I sat out of the session as had some inflammation to my wrist, so decided after my lap times yesterday we wouldn’t improve, so best to rest the wrist in preparation for the race tomorrow.

Honda Endurance Racing
Sébastien Gimbert

Sébastien Gimbert 111

Well P10 I am not completely happy with, but then I always want to be at the front and to win! We are struggling with corner exit, but I know that the team is working on this and they will hopefully be able to come up with a solution for tomorrow. For the race we need to work together as riders and with our laps times here I think we are able to finish in the top-five. We are still learning with the new bike, but we are making progress, so it’s not all bad, I would perhaps like for us to be faster learners! You know, but this is endurance and although qualifying is important it’s the race results that speak, so we just need to focus on tomorrow and see what we can produce over the eight hours.

Honda Endurance Racing
Jonny Twelvetrees

Jonny Twelvetrees

Team Manager

Tenth place isn’t really where we’d hoped to qualify and we are struggling with a few issues, mainly getting the acceleration and drive out of corners, which was a little unexpected. The team are working on the engine spec and getting this in line with the electronics, which is where I think we will see the improvements. We have made steps forward today and we do have some more things for the final practice tomorrow. Our overall pace is good and the riders are pushing hard, but the peak pace isn’t as fast as we’d all like, but I think come the race we will be able to push though – we are showing good fuel economy, so I know that will work in our favour. Tomorrow the forecast is for mixed weather, and the Fireblade seems to be more competitive in cooler conditions, so we are hoping that the temperatures stay low!

Honda Endurance Racing
8 Hours of Oschersleben

Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Germany

FIM EWC 2017, Round 3

Friday 19 May 2017, 12:32 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 1:27.158
2 YART Yamaha Yamaha +0.476
3 Team LRP Poland BMW +0.696
4 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki +0.720
5 Yamaha Viltais Experience Yamaha +0.846
6 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda +0.864
7 Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki +1.072
8 Voelpker NRT48 Schubert-Motors by ERC BMW +1.101
9 Moto Ain CRT Yamaha +1.131
10 Honda Endurance Racing Honda +1.351
Thursday 18 May 2017, 22:40 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 1:27.250
2 YART Yamaha Yamaha +0.035
3 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki +0.375
4 EVA RT WEBIKE Trick Star Kawasaki +1.037
5 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda +1.066
6 Moto Ain CRT Yamaha +1.183
7 Team LRP Poland BMW +1.239
8 Honda Endurance Racing Honda +1.438
9 Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki +1.499
10 EKO IVRacing BMW CSEU BMW +1.722
Thursday 18 May 2017, 15:58 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 1:27.399
2 YART Yamaha Yamaha +0.235
3 Team LRP Poland BMW +0.455
4 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki +0.479
5 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda +0.814
6 Voelpker NRT48 Schubert-Motors by ERC BMW +0.860
7 Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki +0.886
8 Moto Ain CRT Yamaha +1.041
9 Yamaha Viltais Experience Yamaha +1.104
10 Honda Endurance Racing Honda +1.161
Thursday 18 May 2017, 15:48 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Team LRP Poland BMW 1:26.931
2 YART Yamaha Yamaha +0.236
3 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha +0.242
4 EVA RT WEBIKE Trick Star Kawasaki +0.555
5 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki +0.887
6 Yamaha Viltais Experience Yamaha +0.906
7 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda +1.062
8 Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki +1.106
9 Moto Ain CRT Yamaha +1.360
10 Honda Endurance Racing Honda +1.428