Team Suzuki Press Office – April 19.

Following successful winter tests by the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, this weekend sees the second round of the 2019 Endurance World Championship back into action with the 42nd edition of Le Mans 24 Hours in France with a new rider joining SERT for this race.

For the race at the 4.185 km Circuit Bugatti - Le Mans, five times Le Mans winner Gregory Leblanc will join 15-time World Champions SERT’s permanent riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black aboard the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 for one of the most gruelling races of the season.

SERT, currently fourth in the standings after the opening round, the Bol d’Or 24 Hour Race at Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France last September, had been dominant during the first part of the race, but a crash dropped them down the field. However, showing true determination, SERT fought back to fifth position at the flag: Due to the bonus points that are issued at Hours 8 and 16 in 24-Hour races, the team moved to fourth in the series with 41 points.

Alongside SERT, 13 other Suzuki teams will be aiming for the top against a total of 60 teams: In the EWC class, the experienced R2CL team of the former World Champion Gwen Giabbani teams-up with Clinton Seller and Dylan Buisson. In the Superstock category, the No Limits Motor Italian team is the best Suzuki in the rankings, but Junior Team Le Mans Sud, with Louis Rossi, Hugo Clère and Alexis Masbou, are hoping to achieve a great race at home: Like SERT, they are based at Le Mans.

• In Thursday’s initial practice sessions, SERT placed in seventh, with Suzuki’s Motors Events the top Superstock team in eighth overall. Junior Team LMS were 12th (and second Superstock) while No Limits and R2CL placed 22nd and 24th respectively.

A full report and photos of today’s final qualifying sessions will follow ahead of Saturday’s race that gets underway at 3pm CEST.

EWC Image Gallery (David Reygondeau @ Good-Shoot): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

For more stories about Vincent Philippe, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Etienne Masson, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Gregg Black - NO, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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