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Sep 11, 2010

Updated Again: More From The Bol d'Or 24-Hour

The BMP-ELF-99 Racing Team at Bol d'Or.
Bol d'Or Warm up

Yamaha France GMT 94 is back with the leaders

With the machines on race set-up for this morning warm up at Magny-Cours, the hierarchy of the 74th Bol d'Or is confirmed. Once again, the BMW BMP Elf 99 is the fastest on track, with a best 1'41.556 lap, ahead of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team in 1'42.283 and the GSR Kawasaki.

Then are the Yamaha Austria Racing Team and the Honda Michelin Power Research Team, from which the technical staff had been busy all night long to prepare the spare bike. The first Michelin PRT was completely destroyed during a crash in yesterday morning qualifications.

The Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone joined the leaders this morning and took the sixth time on the warm up.

We can expect a very intense and open race between all the motorcycle brands and tyre manufacturers, with BMW on Michelin, SERT Suzuki on Dunlop, Kawasaki GSR on Pirelli, and the trio Yamaha Austria, Michelin PRT and Yamaha France GMT 94 on Michelin.

The first Superstock machine from this morning warm up is the Yamaha X-One, currently sitting in second place in the FIM Superstock World Cup standings, behind the Suzuki of Qatar Endurance Racing Team.

The warm up allowed some teams to re-form their teams since a few riders got injured during the qualifications. BK Maco Moto Racing recruited Pawel Szkopek, YART spare rider, to replace Victor Carrasco who was seriously injured yesterday. The team BMW Boening Penz 13 called Frédéric Chabosseau, former Bolliger Switzerland fourth rider, to replace Jure Stibilj following his crash yesterday.

The start of the 74th Bol d'Or is scheduled this Saturday at 3 pm. To follow the race live, log onto and

About the FIM (
The FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) founded in 1904, is the governing body for motorcycle sport and the global advocate for motorcycling. The FIM is an independent association formed by 101 National Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in motorcycle sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Among its 49 FIM World Championships
the main events are MotoGP, Superbike, Endurance, Motocross, Supercross, Trial, Enduro, Cross-Country Rallies and Speedway. The FIM also deals with non-sporting matters such as leisure motorcycling, mobility, transport, road safety, public policy and the environment. The FIM was the first International Sporting
Federation to enforce an Environmental Code in 1994.

More, from a press release issued by BMP-ELF-99 Racing Team:


An incident packed start to the 74th edition of the Bol d'Or saw the safety car deployed before the riders had completed a single lap, following a turn one crash that saw four riders in the gravel trap.

Sébastien Gimbert, who started the race from pole position for the BMP-ELF-99 Racing Team, was not involved in the first corner incident, but was forced to maintain sixth position as the field lapped behind the safety car.

Once the safety car returned to the pits and the green flag got the race underway once again, Gimbert wasted no time forcing his way through the field. Just 15 minutes into the race the former Grand Prix rider took the lead, which he held until pitting to hand the BMW S1000RR over to BMP-ELF-99 teammate, Matthieu Lagrive.

Lagrive, four times a winner at the Bol d'Or, rejoined the race in fourth place, but retook the lead almost immediately, as GSR Kawasaki, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) and the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) made their first pit stops in quick succession.

The red, white and blue liveried BMW S1000RR was still running at the front of the race when Lagrive returned to pit lane at the end of his first session to hand over to his BMP-ELF-99 teammate, Erwan Nigon.

Nigon, another former Grand Prix rider, rejoined from pit lane in third place, but quickly retook the lead. As the race entered the third hour the safety car was deployed for the second time, as marshals worked to clear the track following a crash involving a number of riders. The safety car was out for most of Nigon's session, with the BMP-ELF-99 rider only able to complete four flying laps before returning to pit lane to hand over the bike, and the race lead, to Gimbert.

Sébastien Gimbert:
"A good start in this race is essential, as is finding a good rhythm. The crash at the start that brought out the safety car made things a bit more difficult, but three laps after the safety car left the track the tyre started to feel good, so I was able to go full gas and take the lead. This race is very important for me; of course to win would be fantastic, but to finish must be the priority."

Matthieu Lagrive:
"The bike feels different today compared to practice and qualifying, because the track temperature is higher now than it has been during the past week. I didn't push during the first session, as it's important to get a feel for the track conditions, but everything felt good and I was able to find a good rhythm on the bike. The conditions will be cooler for my second session, when I will be able to push a little harder."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"So far it's been the perfect week. We led practice, qualified on pole and now we've effectively led the race for the first three hours. However, there is still a long way to go in this race, so we're not getting over confident. All three riders had a steady first session, without pushing as hard as we know they can, so we still have something in reserve should we need it later in the race."

More, from another press release issued by the FIM:

Dramatic start at Bol d'Or

BMP Elf 99 leads SERT and Yamaha France GMT 94

The BMW BMP Elf 99 is leading the race from the beginning at Bol d'Or. Sébastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon and Matthieu Lagrive manage to keep some distance from the competition. Gimbert also got the best race time in 1'42.195. At 7 pm, they are followed by the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team of Vincent Philippe, Guillaume Dietrich (who finally took the position of Daisaku Sakai) and Freddy Foray, and the Yamaha
France GMT 94 Ipone of David Checa, Kenny Foray and Gregory Junod.

A few minutes before 7, the GSR Kawasaki of Julien Da Costa, Olivier Four and Gregory Leblanc was in third place, but due to a shifter problem that involved a few engine cuts, they had to stop into the pits for a quick repair. The GSR was in fourth place at 7 pm.

Behind them are, in a pack, the Suzuki Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers, the Suzuki RAC 41 City Bike, the Kawasaki Bolliger Team Switzerland (currently leading the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship), the Yamaha BK Maco Moto Racing and the Suzuki RT Moto Virus. The Yamaha Austria is missing there, as they were delayed by some overheating problems and a faulty oil hose.

In the Superstock class, the battle is between the Yamaha of team X-One and the Suzuki Motor Events, who are respectively in 10th and 11th position after four hours of racing. The Suzuki Atomic Motorsport is also on this provisional class podium, ahead of the Yamaha LTG 57. They were expected in better places, but the Junior Team Suzuki LMS is far behind after a crash and some overheating problems, and the Suzuki
95 of Qatar Endurance Racing Team is also at the back of the pack after a crash.

The first hours of race were particularly intense. The Honda Michelin Power Research Team was sitting in fourth place at 5 pm, but had to retire after William Costes collided with Raphael Chèvre on the Suzuki AM Moto Competition. The two bikes could not keep on racing. William Costes would suffer from a broken femur and Raphael Chèvre from some head trauma.

A spectacular crash also happened from the start, on the pit straight, with the Suzuki 96 of Qatar Endurance Racing Team, the one from Serbian Racing Team Djamants and the Honda National Motos. The Serbian went back on track after a pit stop but the 96 QERT had to give up, as the bike was destroyed but the rider was fine. Same consequences for National Motos, but with less luck as Sébastien Scarnato was
found with hip and shoulder injuries, and could not bring the Honda into the pits.

More, from yet another press release issued by the FIM:

Another drama swift at Bol d'Or

Yamaha France GMT 94 leads ahead of SERT and Bolliger Switzerland

The situation at Bol d'Or changed completely after 6 hours of racing. The BMW of BMP Elf 99 left the leadership to the Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone. After a faultless race, the official Yamaha made profit of its competitor's troubles. BMP Elf 99 lost six places due to a leaky oil breather. The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team crashed on an oil patch, but managed to keep its second place as the race has been neutralized by safety cars several times. The Kawasaki Bolliger Switzerland is in third place
after a trouble-free race so far.

The Kawasaki GSR was racing in the top three for several hours; they just had to retire as Gregory Leblanc crashed.

Suffering from a few technical problems, the Yamaha Austria is currently sitting between the 10th and 20th positions.