Fresh from his win in the Spanish Grand Prix, Dani Pedrosa topped both Friday practice sessions at Le Mans ahead of the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France. The Repsol Honda Team rider led teammate Marc Marquez and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi as less than three tenths of a second covered the top five riders.
After the paralysis suffered by former Kawasaki Racing Team rider Joan Lascorz, an online auction of Tom Sykes' specially painted '17 Power For Lascorz' crash helmet was won by British couple, and long-time Tom Sykes fans, Colin and Sharon Williams. The winning bid of £8,100UK (€9,702 Euros at that time), was passed onto Joan Lascorz to aid his rehabilitation process and, as part of the prize, Colin and Sharon were invited into the heart of the KRT squad at the recent Monza World Superbike race weekend.
Colin Williams was blown away by the experience of becoming part of the team itself for the Monza round, and the couple's weekend was rounded off by receiving two massive 'goody bags' of Kawasaki and racing team merchandise to take home as a set of souvenirs of a memorable weekend away. Said Colin, shortly before watching Tom Sykes score two fabulous podiums on raceday, "This has been an unbelievable race weekend. It is like rock and roll for us and I feel lost for words. The experience of coming to the race as guests of the official Kawasaki team is something else."
"We got what we asked for in bidding for and winning the Lascorz helmet," he added, "but at Monza we did not expect any of this and, to be fair, it was not simply about owning the helmet. Our 21-year-old son Andrew has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, so we are very aware of the realities of disability. We followed the Kawasaki team at first because of Tom, but when we found out that Joan had been seriously hurt in a testing accident and, as events unfolded, paralysed, it does have an impact on how you feel."
"Sharon and myself are touched that there is such a level of concern for Joan's welfare and delighted that the money went to such a good cause. Of course, we both wish Joan all the best for his future. For us it has truly been the experience of a lifetime. We have the helmet at home in pride of pace and literally hundreds of happy memories of a weekend we will never, ever forget."
Jerez race winner Dani Pedrosa has maintained his form by topping Friday’s first practice session for the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France. In completely dry conditions, the Repsol Honda Team rider led Yamaha Factory Racing duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.