Bol d’Or – Suz ‘, Yam’ and Kawa in a pocket square … –

Suz ‘, Yam’ and Kawa in a pocket square…

Bol d'Or - Suz ', Yam' and Kawa in a pocket square ... -

After two hours of racing, the Suzuki n ° 1 of SERT, the Yamaha n ° 94 of the GMT and the Kawasaki n ° 11 occupy the leading trifecta. The race was neutralized following a crash involving the # 85 Honda from Thorn Bikes and the # 16 Kawasaki from Team Raffin Motos.

It is under an overcast sky but for the moment without showers that Julien da Costa took command of the Bol d’Or on the handlebars of the Suzuki n ° 1 of the SERT, in front of the Yamaha n ° 94 of the GMT led by Sebastien Gimbert and the Kawasaki n ° 11 in the hands of Julian Mazuecos, followed by the Yamaha n ° 7 of Team Austria.

At the time of the gridding, the Spanish private team Yamaha Floch Endurance – currently 4th in the world endurance championship, tied with the Suzuki n ° 2 – had its adrenaline rush: during the warm up, the engine broke and the whole technical team had to get busy around the machine to change the engine in record time before the start. In extremis, the n ° 4 was able to take the start of both warm-up laps, but suffered a stop and go for exiting the pits after the green light. For the manager, "the engine is good but the bike no longer has all the best parts … With the rain that is announced, anything can happen in the race and the important thing is to have started !"

The n ° 98 Ducati crashed immediately at the end of the pit straight after the start: Louis Bulle got up and started again, but he fell again and injured his hand. "I think he had no more brakes after the first fall", explained to Site the timekeeper of the Ducati Endurance Racing Team before giving up, tears in his eyes….

Christian Bourgeois, competition director of Kawasaki France, chose to have Julien Mazuecos take the start to restore his confidence: Julien is one second behind in the lap of his two teammates, Ivan Silva and the French Erwan Nigon, which is "huge at this level", explains the team manager."It happens in the head. A pilot is a fragile mechanism, he must regain confidence".

Christian Bourgeois also recalls that his team is not supported by the Japanese factory: "Team Kawasaki France is private and does not have the world championship as its objective", he tells AFP."We do French races and I managed to advocate for us to participate in races in Europe. This is to allow the brand to maintain a high level in this specialty.".

While the first drops of rain expected for 6:00 p.m. make a short appearance at 3:30 p.m., the race was neutralized at 4:15 p.m. by the safety car following a fall at the exit of Estoril involving Stephane Lacaze on the Honda n ° 85 of Thorn Bikes and Etienne Masson on the Kawasaki n ° 16 of Team Raffin Motos.

Stephane Lacaze suffers from a big concussion and a broken collarbone while Etienne Masson brings the bike back to the pit. Honda # 85 running on bioethanol to officially retire at 5:22 p.m. and Kawasaki # 16 set to retire due to oil leaks and warped fork…

For the GMT, whose Yamaha n ° 94 surprisingly lost 12 seconds in the first laps, the objective is of course to win (see our video interview opposite). It is still competing for the lead with the No. 1 Suzuki after two hours of racing, while the No. 11 Kawasaki is still in the top 3 of the leading machines. The No. 72 Junior Team Suzuki, first Superstock, is in sixth position behind the No. 99 Yamaha and ahead of the No. 95 Qatar Endurance Suzuki.

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