Sep 17, 2001
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Castrol Suzuki won the 65th Bol d'Or 24-hour race in France Sunday, September 16 and in doing so wrapped up the 2001 FIM SuperProduction World Cup with the team's fourth overall race win. Castrol Suzuki's Laurent Brian, Brian Morrison and Christian Lavielle rode their GSX-R1000 flawlessly for 799 laps while the 55-bike field, full of factory-supported Superbikes and endurance regulars alike, suffered small problems to increase Castrol Suzuki's advantage.<BR><BR>Castrol Suzuki's main challenger for the race was the factory-supported Elf Honda team. William Costes, Fabien Foret and Sebastien Gimbert rode the Elf Honda RC51 Superbike fast, at times two seconds per lap faster than Castrol Suzuki, but clutch problems dropped Elf Honda to 22nd at one point in the race. Elf Honda climbed back up to second place overall but could not make up an eight-lap disadvantage to Castrol Suzuki. <BR><BR>2000 World Endurance Champions Whirley Phase One finished third overall and second in the SuperProduction class on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 ridden by Igor Jerman, Olivier Ulmann and James Ellison. Whirley Phase One was 45 seconds behind Elf Honda at the finish.<BR><BR>2001 World Endurance Champions Wim Motors suffered their first DNF of the season, suffering from fuel and electrical problems.<BR><BR>Herman Verboven Suzuki finished 21st overall and sixth in the Superbike category on a Suzuki GSX-R750 ridden by American Andrew "Woody" Deatherage, Danny Schildermans and Benjamin Pister while regular team riders Michael Barnes and Jeff Vermeulen remained in the United States, unable to fly to France due to the air travel restrictions imposed following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.<BR><BR>Bol d'Or 24-hour Final Results:<BR>1. Castrol Suzuki (Laurent Brian/Brian Morrison/Christian Lavielle), Suzuki GSX-R1000, SP, 799 laps<BR><BR>2. Elf Honda (William Costes/Fabien Foret/Sebastien Gimbert), Honda RC51, SB, 791 laps<BR><BR>3. Whirley Phase One (Igor Jerman/Olivier Ulman/James Ellison), Suzuki GSX-R1000, SP, 791 laps<BR><BR>4. Free Bike Performance (Mathieu Lagrive/Bertrand Sebileau/Cyril Fernandez), Yamaha YZF-R7, SB, 790 laps<BR><BR>5. Yamaha Motor France (Jean Marc Deletang/Mark Willis/Thierry Paillot), Yamaha YZF-R7, SB, 783 laps<BR><BR>6. Junior Team LMS (Frederic Jond/Olivier Four/Pierrot Lerat Vanstaen), Suzuki GSX-R1000, SP, 779 laps<BR><BR>7. Moto Shop 35 (Christian Haquin/Michel Amalric/Frank Schuller), Kawasaki ZX-7RR, SB, 779 laps<BR><BR>8. Zong Shen B (Stephane Mertens/Warwick Nowland/Cristobal Fernando), Suzuki GSX-R1000, SP, 778 laps<BR><BR>9. GMT94 (Sebastian Scarnato/Arnaud Van Den Bossche/Frederic Protat), Suzuki GSX-R1000, SP, 775 laps<BR><BR>10. Police Nationale (Gwen Giabbani/Christophe Roche/Franck Gebelin), Kawasaki ZX-9R, SP, 768 laps<BR><BR>Fastest Lap: Elf Honda, 1:41.033, 94.086 mph (151.435 kph)<BR><BR>