24h Motos 2022: ERC Endurance Ducati to start Le Mans from fifth
ERC Endurance Ducati did earn fifth spot on the grid for the 24 hours of Le Mans with Philipp Öttl (GER), Xavi Fores (ESP) and David Checa (ESP) at the helm of the Ducati Panigale V4R EWC. This results means the squad could add a first World Championship point to the 2022 account already.
Karlsruhe / Le Mans. ERC Endurance Ducati will start the 2022 24 hours of Le Mans from fifth. Öttl, Fores and Checa did a strong preparation for the full day’s distance race.
This weekend a new Qualifying format came into place with only the two fastest riders of each team delivering to the average Qualifying time. So far it has always been all three riders.
After the team got hit by personnel problems at the beginning of the week, ERC Endurance Ducati presented itself strong during Thursday’s sessions already. Öttl quickly found his place in the team and was amongst the quickest of the field. Thanks to Fores the Ducati powered team could finish Thursday’s Free Practice session on top of the standings in P1.
The second qualifying, held on Friday, could have seen the team moving further up the ranks but unfortunately Fores had a small crash during his stint. Rider ok and the bike could got going again quickly.
“It is my first race in the Endurance but my EWC-spec Panigale V4R is very good and easy to ride. She is completely different to my WorldSBK bike but I come along with her perfectly. I think I can ride constant times in the 35s-braket during day time but we need to see how it will be in the night. I hope I can help the team the best way.”
“First of all I want to apologize for my crash during Qualifying. We wanted to attack the pole position so this can happen sometimes unfortunately. But more important is, that we are strongly prepared for the race and we will for sure attack tomorrow.”
“As I said all week: We are well prepared and strong, our Ducati Panigale V4R is working perfectly and all three of us are having a strong pace. We have the potential to fight for the podium and if possible for the win. But as I always say: This is Endurance racing and anything can happen and the first main goal is to not make any mistakes and see the finish flag.”
Franky Hoffmann – Team Manager:
“The beginning of the week marked a lot of work on the phone as we unfortunately had to replace Chaz Davies who was supposed to replace Lorenzo Zanetti. Already I can say we did the right decision to get Philipp Öttl in. He fits the team perfectly, was quick after just a short amount of laps and has a huge team spirit. Unfortunately Xavi had a little crash during Qualifying, but this can happen. He is unhurt and that’s the main thing. And David – he is living up to his name as a multiple Endurance World Champion and a super fast bank for us. I cant wait for the race to start tomorrow.”