EWC 2021

YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL DOMINATES BOL D-OR ENDURANCE


Team Suzuki Press Office – September 19.

Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R - 1st.


Yoshimura SERT Motul raced to victory at the Bol d’Or 24-Hour today, the third round of the FIM Endurance World Championship. In doing so, the team reclaimed the lead in the series.

Favourites after dominating the qualifying sessions, and setting a new lap record in the process, the official Suzuki factory team led most of the race at the famous Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet for the 84th edition of the race.

From the start, the reigning World Champions showed great control. Gregg Black, started the race for the third time this year and, again, grabbed the holeshot aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000R. This feat was witnessed by the enthusiastic crowd who were allowed back at the circuit for the first time this year in an EWC race.

While the battle raged on out front between three official teams in the opening laps, the Suzuki team kept cool and consistent, while putting the pressure on their opponents.

Black, Xavier Simeon and Sylvain Guintoli controlled the race, despite the rivalry with the other official teams and inclement weather conditions, which deteriorated during the night as heavy rain descended. The only hiccup for the team came around midnight when the first raindrops appeared on the circuit and Simeon was the victim of a crash that caused slight damage to the Suzuki.

Back in the pits though, the technical staff carried out a fast check and repair, which allowed the #1 machine to get back on the track quickly, keeping in touch with the front runners. Shortly afterwards, the team were back in the lead again and stretched the gap hour-by-hour.

After leading the race almost from start to finish, the Yoshimura SERT Motul GSX-R1000R crossed the finish line 19 laps ahead of its main rival and, by taking pole position, the lead at the eighth and 16th hour of the race and the victory, the team collected 65 points, the maximum possible for the event. This allowed the team to take the championship lead with a total of 141 points, with one round remaining at Most next month.

The Suzuki brand was also in the spotlight this weekend in Superstock as the Italian No Limits Motor Team took the third step of the podium in this category.

Damien Saulnier – Team Manager:

“We are more than proud to leave with the victory and a lot of points. But in the pits, I found the race very hard; very long. I imagine that it was the same for the riders with the gaps that were widening, it’s psychologically hard to keep up. It's a race I'll remember! This victory gives us comfort and security for the end of the season. But we must not rest for now, because the race of Most will be also difficult on a circuit which we do not know. We’ll have to stay careful and very focused because the points are difficult to win, but easy to lose.”

Yohei Kato – Team Director:

“Everything went perfectly well for us. I'm very happy to win again, but I have a thought for our opponents who had problems. This race was very difficult, and we had to stay very focused on what we were able to do. I would like to thank all our team for the work they have done. Nothing would have been possible without their support.”

Gregg Black:

“This is my second victory in a row at the Bol d'Or but the previous edition was shortened because of the weather. This year, the race was much more difficult and mentally exhausting. We started behind in the championship and the first objective was to win the pole position to score precious points. Yoshimura and the team did everything possible to achieve this. In the race, the goal was different. We had to be consistent and focused. We also managed to do it and I think that's why we won.”

Xavier Siméon:

“I did a very good first stint and then everything worked well during the night, despite the rain which scared us a bit. From the beginning, we had set some target lap times for the race. We stuck to this schedule. We knew that this would allow us to fight for victory. That's what happened.”

Sylvain Guintoli:

“Races are long. This one was perhaps even longer because we had to manage our lead and not make any mistakes. When you are behind, there are fewer questions to ask yourself; you have to attack. So this Bol d'Or victory was not as easy as it seems. There is always a certain amount of chance in competition, but this year we really had all the assets in our hands. The riders are fast and consistent, the bike has a fantastic potential and Yoshimura and SERT are one of the best teams I have worked with in my career. For me, as a newcomer to endurance racing, it's a bit of a dream to win the Bol d'Or and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in my first year!”

YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL LAPS AFTER 24 HOURS:

Hour 1: Yoshimura SERT Motul, FCC TSR Honda, Webike SRC Kawasaki - 30 laps.
Hour 2: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Webike SRC Kawasaki, YART Yamaha – 61 laps.
Hour 3: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Webike SRC Kawasaki, YART Yamaha – 92 laps.
Hour 4: Yoshimura SERT Motul, YART Yamaha, Webike SRC Kawasaki – 123 laps.
Hour 5: Yoshimura SERT Motul, YART Yamaha, Webike SRC Kawasaki – 153 laps.
Hour 6: Yoshimura SERT Motul, YART Yamaha, Webike SRC Kawasaki – 184 laps.
Hour 7: Yoshimura SERT Motul, YART Yamaha, ERC Endurance Ducati – 214 laps.
Hour 8: Yoshimura SERT Motul, YART Yamaha, ERC Endurance Ducati – 245 laps (+10 points).
Hour 9: Yoshimura SERT Motul, YART Yamaha, ERC Endurance Ducati – 275 laps.
Hour 10: YART Yamaha, Yoshimura SERT Motul, ERC Endurance Ducati – 301 laps.
Hour 11: YART Yamaha, Yoshimura SERT Motul, VRD Igol Experiences – 330 laps.
Hour 12: Yoshimura SERT Motul, YART Yamaha, Moto AIN – 359 laps.
Hour 13: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 385 laps.
Hour 14: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 411 laps.
Hour 15: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 439 laps.
Hour 16: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, VRD Igol Experiences – 466 laps (+10 pts).
Hour 17: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 494 laps.
Hour 18: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 523 laps.
Hour 19: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 554 laps.
Hour 20: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 583 laps.
Hour 21: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 613 laps.
Hour 22: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 643 laps.
Hour 23: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 673 laps.
Hour 24: Yoshimura SERT Motul, Moto AIN, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers – 704 laps.


Bol d’Or Image Gallery (David Reygondeau @ Goodshoot): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Full results are available on FIMEWC: CLICK HERE

Championship points (round by round): CLICK HERE






For more stories about Xavier Simeon, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Gregg Black, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Kazuki Watanabe, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Sylvain Guintoli, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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