Apr 21, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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FIM Endurance World Championship: The start of the Bol d'Or 24 Hours at Magny-Cours, in France.
FIM Endurance World Championship
Bol d'Or 24 Hours
April 20-21, 2013
Provisional Overall Race Results:
1. SRC KAWASAKI (Greg LEBLANC/Loris BAZ/Jeremy GUARNONI), Kaw ZX-10R, Superbike, 808 laps, 24:00:20.917
2. MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA - YART (Igor JERMAN/Broc PARKES/Sheridan MORAIS), YAMAHA YZF-R1, Superbike, -9 laps
3. SUZUKI ENDURANCE RACING TEAM (Vincent PHILIPPE/Anthony DELHALLE/Julien DA COSTA), SUZUKI GSX-R1000, Superbike, -11 laps
4. YAMAHA France - GMT94 - Michelin Yamalube (David CHECA/Kenny FORAY/Matthieu LAGRIVE), YAMAHA YZF-R1, Suprbike, -15 laps
5. JUNIOR TEAM LMS SUZUKI (Baptiste GUITTET/Etienne MASSON/Nans CHEVAUX), SUZUKI GSX-R1000, Superstock, -20 laps
6. PENZ13.COM FRANKS AUTOWELT RACING TEAM (Pedro VALLCANERAS/Jason PRIDMORE/Hayato TAKADA), BMW S1000RR, Superstock, -20 laps (-11.094 seconds to Superstock class winner)
7. TEAM R2CL (Dylan BUISSON/Guillaume DIETRICH/Gwen GIABBANI), Suzuki GSX-R1000, Superbike, -23 laps
8. NATIONAL MOTOS (Gregory JUNOD/Michael RUTTER/Olivier FOUR), HONDA CBR1000RR, Superbike, -24 laps
9. TEAM MOTOR EVENTS APRIL MOTO (Gregory FASTRE/Claude LUCAS/Michael SAVARY), SUZUKI GSX-R1000, Superstock, -25 laps
10. STARTEAM PAM-RACING (Sebastien PRULHIERE/Axel MAURIN/Kevin LONGEARET), SUZUKI GSX-R1000, Superstock, -26 laps
43. HONDA TT LEGENDS (John MCGUINESS/Michael DUNLOP/Simon ANDREWS), HONDA CBR1000RR, Superbike, -209 laps
49. BMW Motorrad France Thevent (Karl MUGGERIDGE/Sebastien GIMBERT/Sylvain BARRIER), BMW S1000RR, Superbike, -626 laps
More, from a press release issued by FIM Endurance Press Office:
Another Bol d’Or win for SRC Kawasaki ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha YART and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team
After winning at the wire in 2012, SRC Kawasaki triumphs again at the Bol d’Or with a 9-lap lead over Monster Energy Yamaha YART and 11 laps clear of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT). Riding the official Kawasaki, Gregory Leblanc, Loris Baz and Jérémy Guarnoni put together a perfectly crafted but exhausting race. The tricky conditions with intermittent showers on Saturday afternoon reshuffled the leading pack. To hold on to the lead, SRC Kawasaki put up a hard fight against the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team early in the race as well as with the Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube, which just missed the podium after being hit by electronic woes at the end of the race. But Kudos goes to David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive who battled it out with the Kawasaki at the front for nearly 20 hours.
By taking pole position and going on to win, the SRC Kawasaki handed in a flawless card at Magny-Cours. However, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team seemed an unlikely candidate for the podium after crashes by Anthony Delhalle and Vincent Philippe as a result of bad tyre choices early on in the race. But Dominique Méliand’s crew, who were lying back in 30th four hours into the race, showed their guts and determination. Lap after lap, they came up the field and, helped at the end by the misfortunes that befell Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube, a relieved Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Julien Da Costa hauled themselves on to the third step of the podium, saving vital points for Suzuki in the overall standings.
Monster Energy Yamaha YART was in the leading pack from start to finish. Igor Jerman, Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morais did not put a foot wrong but were unable to take the race to the Kawasaki. The Austrian Yamaha ran a prudent race after putting together its final crew at the last moment, and Sheridan Morais, who stepped in to replace an injured Josh Waters, had his first ride on the Yamaha at Magny Cours. So three makers were on the podium, paired with three different tyre manufacturers: Kawasaki-Pirelli in first, followed by Yamaha-Michelin and Suzuki-Dunlop.
BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent fell by the wayside when Sébastien Gimbert, Sylvain Barrier and Karl Muggeridge had to throw in the towel at dusk. Two early crashes had left the motorcycle too damaged to go on. Honda TT Legends fell behind the leading pack with engine trouble on Sunday morning, leaving the top Honda spot for National Motos. Slowed down by a crash, Gregory Junod, Michael Rutter and Olivier Four finished in 8th after holding on to a place in the top 5. Team R2CL, who moved up the field as the race went on, were able to take 7th at the finish with avec Guillaume Dietrich, Gwen Giabbani and Dylan Buisson.
In the race for the FIM Endurance World Cup, Junior Team Suzuki LMS chalked up another win. Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Nans Chevaux finished a respectable 5th and 1st in Superstock just behind the top teams. This category saw a close-run fight with Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team (BMW) finishing just behind Junior Team Suzuki. Team Motors Events April Moto (Suzuki) came in 3rd in Superstock ahead of the Suzukis of Starteam Pam Racing and AM Moto Racing Compétition, kept off the podium as a result of a crash.
The next leg of the FIM Endurance World Championship will be the Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan on 28 July.
What they said:
Gilles Stafler, team manager of SRC Kawasaki
“With an average age of 23, our crew is the youngest ever to win a Bol d’Or. They are young but experienced and professional. I hope to be able to confirm the same three riders for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
Jérémy Guarnoni, rider with SRC Kawasaki
“It’s a fabulous feeling to win at the Bol d’Or at 20 when you know that some people try for years and never make it.”
Broc Parkes, rider with Monster Energy Yamaha YART, riding in Endurance for the first time ever
“It’s a great experience though I must admit that in the middle of the night I wondered what I was doing here. Fortunately, Igor Jerman kept our motivation up."
Vincent Philippe, rider with Suzuki Endurance Racing Team
“I’m really happy with the way we moved up to the front. Especially as I thought I would be out of action after my crash along the low wall, but I was able to bring back the bike. I wasn’t very comfortable on wet, I must admit. After picking the wrong tyres, we made two mistakes one after the other. The young guys at Kawasaki didn’t make any at all. They are like cats, they fall on their feet! ”
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent:
Magny-Cours, France - 20 April 2013: BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent were forced to retire from the 77th edition of the Bol d'Or, after a crash in the sixth hour of the race left the #99 BMW S1000RR too damaged to continue.
Sébastien Gimbert and Sylvain Barrier worked hard in the first quarter of the race to make up time lost to a minor crash for Barrier during his first relay. The French duo were running in third and starting to close the gap to the leaders as the race passed the five-hour mark.
Karl Muggeridge took over from Sylvain Barrier for his first relay aboard the #99 BMW S1000RR, but encountered a brake problem at the end of the ultra-fast Golf straight and ran straight on at Adelaide. The Australian had no option but to lay the bike down before hitting the tyre wall.
Despite suffering such a high-speed crash, Muggeridge ran with the bike all the way back to the pits. Not the way the former World Supersport Champion was expecting to celebrate his 39th birthday today.
Gimbert took to the track once the crash damage had been repaired, but was forced to return to the pit box after experiencing problems on his first lap. Following further inspection of the bike by the team's technical staff, the decision was made to withdraw from the race on safety grounds.
"This is the third time in as many years we've crashed out of the Bol d'Or and it gets harder to accept each time," declared Team Principal, Michael Bartholemy. "I don't want to talk about bad luck or bogey tracks; if you want to be World Champions you must make your own luck and be competitive at every circuit. We need to learn from this and make sure we don't make it four from four next season.
"We're not sure what caused the problem for Karl, but he couldn't have picked a worse place to crash. You're coming off the fastest part of the track and braking heavily for the slowest corner and I can't imagine what it's like to suddenly encounter a brake problem there. It was a big crash and one that Karl was lucky to walk away from. The mechanics did their best to get the bike back out, but it was damaged to the point where safety was an issue, so we had no option but to withdraw," concluded Bartholemy.
BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent will return to the track at Suzuka for the second round of the Endurance World Championship, which takes place on 28th July.
2013 Endurance World Championship Calendar
27-28 July Suzuka 8 Hours Suzuka, Japan
16-17 August 8 Hours of Oschersleben Oschersleben, Germany
21-22 August Pre-Mans Test Le Mans, France
21-22 September 24 Heures Moto Le Mans, France
More, from a press release issued by Honda TT Legends:
Honda TT Legends forced to retire from the Bol d’Or
The Honda TT Legends team was forced to retire 18-hours in to the 2013 Bol d’Or 24-hour, breaking its seven-race stint of successful finishes in Endurance World Championship events. The disappointment also marks the first time that the team has had to withdraw from a 24-hour race.
John McGuinness started the race for the Honda TT Legends and the first few hours saw him, Simon Andrews and Michael Dunlop put in an impressive performance that took them from 28th to third place. As evening fell on the Magny Cours circuit in France, light rain caused a few incidents for other teams, but the Honda TT Legends settled into a steady fourth place, where they remained through the night until daybreak.
Just after 8am, Dunlop made an unexpected pit stop and the Honda TT Legends crew set to work, eventually identifying and fixing a problem with the heat exchanger. McGuinness re-joined the race in 13th place but unfortunately the irreparable damage to the engine had already been done and it subsequently overheated. He was forced to dismount and push the bike back to the pits on the first lap and the team retired from the race.
The EWC will continue with the Suzuka 8-hour in Japan on 28 July.
This is a very disappointing end for the team after all the hard work and effort everyone has put in. It’s unfortunate but we had a problem with the heat exchanger which caused the engine to overheat and fail towards the end of the race. It’s our first incomplete event in seven races and our first ever retirement from a 24 hour race, but it happens to everyone at some point and the main thing is that everyone is ok. We haven’t had any injuries to anybody and although there was some leakage from the bike, it doesn’t look like it caused problems to anybody else as the safety car came out very quickly. Like I say, very disappointing for everyone but we have to move on and look forward to the road races coming up in the next few months.
We’re just gutted not to have finished. The lads have done so much work on the bike – new electronics, traction control – all sorts of bits and pieces that they’ve spent hundreds if not thousands of hours on. We’ve had a fantastic run of results up to now with seven races completed and we were looking good in the race. We were top five again and chipping away, but unfortunately we had a problem 18 hours in. I’m just speechless really, just gutted, but we’ll try and take the positives out of it. We were running a lot closer to some of our rivals so we can take that to the next round.
It had gone well up until that point. I did a good few stints at the beginning to get us up to fourth and I was happy enough with that. It’s a shame what’s happened for everyone because the guys have worked so hard. The chassis was working well and we had the quickest bike out there at some points, so it just would have been nice to reward everyone with a podium. We were third at one stage so to go from that position to coming away with no points at all is not fun, but that’s endurance racing. We can be happy with the hard work we’ve put in and the way we’ve worked together and we’ll look forward to the next round.
It’s so disappointing for all the lads after all the hard work they’ve done. I really feel for them because it’s not just about us riders, it’s a massive team effort and they put so much into it. I just got my head down and got on with it, going with the flow really. It was going well up until that point, but we’ll go back and take a look at the bike and come back bigger and stronger next time.