-- -- Suzuki take out 75th Anniversary
Bol d'Or at Magny Cours
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team has won the opening round of the 2011 Qtel World Endurance Championship - the 24-hour 75th-Anniversary Bol d'Or at Magny Cours in France.
The GSX-R1000-mounted reigning World Champions crossed the line at the 3pm finish with 814 laps completed; six laps clear of race-long rivals SRS Kawasaki (808 laps), BWM Motorrad France 99 (803) and Bolliger Team Switzerland (802).
SERT riders Vincent Philippe, Freddy Foray and Anthony Delhalle dominated from the start - even though first rider off at 3pm on Saturday - Philippe - was still feeling the after-affects of a heavy fall in the morning warm-up that meant the team had to use their number two machine for the race.
At the five-hour mark, SERT had clocked-up 173 laps; one more than SRS Kawasaki and BMW. Through the night, the Suzuki trio opened the gap to three laps over SRS, with the Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki climbing into the top three places when BMW broke a chain.
From sunrise on Sunday, SERT used its experience to gradually increase its lead - to seven laps at one stage - plus time its pit-stops precisely to bring the GSX-R1000 home to an emphatic home victory for the Le Mans-based squad.
It was the team's fourth-consecutive victory at the Bol d'Or and Philippe's seventh, which equals the record number of rider wins.
-- Honda TT Legends finish the Bol d'Or in fifth
The Honda TT Legends team finished its debut Bol d’Or in an impressive fifth place after a grueling 24-hour race that saw John McGuinness, Steve Plater and Keith Amor complete 796 laps of the Magny-Cours circuit, France. The event was the first round of the 2011 FIM Endurance World Championship, which the team will contest along with the Isle of Man TT and the Ulster GP.
15-times TT race winner McGuinness started the race for the all-new team from seventh on the grid. His steady and conservative first laps set the tone for the rest of the race as each rider headed out onto the circuit for their individual stints with focus and determination.
The team remained in seventh position for the first section, battling in close contention with four other teams – including private French Honda team National Motos. A dramatic turn of events came with the break of dawn as the Yamaha Endurance Racing Team retired due to a technical problem and National Motos suffered a brake problem forcing them back two laps.
This elevated the Honda TT Legends into fifth place where they remained steady for the rest of the race, eventually finishing 18 laps behind the winning team to achieve their aim of finishing the 75th annual Bol d’Or. Keith Amor completed the final stint to bring the Firebalde past the chequered flag.
I’m pretty happy with that to be honest. It’s strange really because we were so close to the podium and it would have been great to get there, but we’ve got to be realistic with ourselves. We’re a brand new team and top five at world level in the first championship race is absolutely brilliant. It’s been like a war not a battle, incredible really. It’s a testament to the Hondas and to the hard work of the team, maintaining the bike through the race. The atmosphere here has been amazing, right through the day and through the night – what an event, what a festival and what an experience and the icing on the cake is fifth place
The whole team has put in a massive effort and worked really hard to get ready for the Bol d’Or. It’s a very hard, steep learning curve to do a 24-hour first rather than a six or an eight-hour. All the guys have done a fantastic job so we’ve got a good base to progress from. We’ve got an awful lot to learn from this and hopefully we can come back fro the next round at Albacete being even more competitive.
Right now I’m feeling relief, just massive relief. That was a tough race for me, it was really, really hard. The most important thing for me at the end there was to bring the bike over the finish line. We didn’t have any major problems at all during the race, no stop and goes, no unplanned pit stops – it all ran very smoothly and I think that’s why we got fifth. It just shows what the guys can do. Roll on the next one!
Neil Tuxworth, team manager
I’m so happy for everybody in the team. Endurance racing more than any other event is a team effort and everyone has played their part tremendously. Our main objective was to finish and the second was to place in the top six and we’ve achieved both of those things so as a new team we are very pleased.
Russell Benny, race manager
Any successful result is a team effort and on this occasion the team have performed splendidly. Considering it’s the first event of the year and the hardest event of the year, fifth place is beyond all our expectations. Congratulations must go to all the people who contributed – mechanics, timekeepers, caterers, everyone.
-- RESULTS 24H OF BOL D'OR
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASS RESULTS
POS / TEAM / RIDERS / MOTORCYCLE / LAPS / TIME
1 / SUZUKI ENDURANCE / PHILIPPE - FORAY - DELHALLE / SUZUKI GSXR / 814 / 24:00:18.152
2 / TEAM SRC KAWASAKI / DA COSTA - LEBLANC - FOUR / KAWASAKI ZX 10 / 808 / 24:00:18.214
3 / BMW MOTORRAD / GIMBERT - CUDLIN - NIGON / BMW S1000 RR / 803 / 24:00:32.028
4 / BOLLIGER TEAM SWITZ / SAIGER - STAMM - TANGRE / KAWASAKI ZX 10 / 802 / 24:01:32.874
5 / HONDA TT LEGENDS / PLATER - MC GUINNESS - AMOR / HONDA FIREBLADE / 796 / 24:00:45.631
6 / NATIONAL MOTOS / JONCHIERE - DE CAROLIS - MASSON / HONDA CBR 100 / 794 / 24:01:31.554
7 / YMES FOLCH END / RIBALTA - VALLCANERAS - LUIS RITA / YAMAHA R 1 / 789 / 24:00:32.977
8 / YAMAHA France GMT 94 / CHECA - FORAY - LAGRIVE / YAMAHA R 1 / 785 / 24:01:16.530
9 / TRT 27 CITY BIKE / HARDT - HEDELIN - HOUSSIN / SUZUKI GSXR / 776 / 24:00:24.719
10 / INFINI TEAM POWER BI / CUZIN - HOLUB - BERNON / KAWASAKI ZX 10 / 775 / 24:00:25.785
11 / TEAM DUNLOP MOTOR / GUCCIARDI - DENEQUE - GRARRE / SUZUKI GSXR / 760 / 24:00:29.627
12 / TEAM R2CL / LUCAS - CAPELA - DE LAVILLE / SUZUKI GSXR / 755 / 24:01:58.845
13 / TMS RACING / FARLAT - HENRIQUES - KHARTCHENKO / SUZUKI GSXR / 751 / 24:01:49.910
14 / MOTOPLANETE RACING / GOETSCHY - FERRE - MECENE / YAMAHA R 1 / 732 / 24:00:27.215
15 / SPORT PASSION END / GUYOT - TERAMOTO - NISHIJIMA / SUZUKI GSXR / 727 / 24:01:01.964
16 / ADRENATEM ESPRIT M / JOULIN - NOUVELLON - BOUCLE / SUZUKI GSXR / 704 / 24:00:34.875
17 / SH TECHNOLOGIE SCR / ROYER - POUHAIR - CHEVAUX / BMW S1000 RR / 684 / 24:00:31.306
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASS POSITIONS TO DATE SUZUKI ENDURANCE 35, TEAM SRC KAWASAKI 28, BMW MOTORRAD 22, BOLLIGER TEAM SWITZ 18, HONDA TT LEGENDS 15, NATIONAL MOTOS 14, YMES FOLCH ENDURAN 13, YAMAHA France GMT 94 11, TRT 27 CITY BIKE 10, INFINI TEAM POWER BI 8, TEAM DUNLOP MOTOR 7, TEAM R2CL 6, TMS RACING 4, MOTOPLANETE RACING 3, SPORT PASSION ENDU 1.
SUPERSTOCK CLASS RESULTS
POS / TEAM / RIDERS / MOTORCYCLE / LAPS / TIME
1 / T MOTORS EVENTS BO / GINES - BOCQUET - HUMEAU / Marque / 779 / 24:01:00.790
2 / ATOMIC MOTOSPORT / MUTEAU - LALEVEE - LUSSIANA / SUZUKI GSXR / 776 / 24:00:57.462
3 / VAN ZON BOENIG MOT / FILLA - DAEMEN - SEIDEL / SUZUKI GSXR / 776 / 24:01:02.032
4 / MCP STARTEAM 67 / LUCAS - PRULHIERE - KELLER / BMW S1000 RR / 776 / 24:01:05.285
5 / MACCIO RACING / DUMAIN - MAURIN - MOREIRA / SUZUKI GSXR / 774 / 24:01:06.844
6 / '3D ENDURANCE MOTO / GEERS - BRAUN - LABUSSIERE / KAWASAKI ZX 10 / 769 / 24:00:19.859
7 / DG SPORT / DEPOORTER - DOS - MOLINA / KAWASAKI ZX 10 / 762 / 24:01:51.820
8 / MOTO 39 COMPETITION / MAITRE - THUILLIER - PICCOLO / YAMAHA R 1 / 761 / 24:01:02.841
9 / MCS RACING IPONE / PROSEMIK - SAVARY - KISPATAKI / KAWASAKI ZX 10 / 760 / 24:00:55.495
10 / RACING TEAM SARAZIN / GUEROUAH - KOKES - GENETAY / SUZUKI GSXR / 742 / 24:00:59.948
11 / QERT / CUDLIN - AL MALKI - AL MANNAI / KAWASAKI ZX 10 / 738 / 24:01:01.336
12 / VILTAIS RACING DIVISIO / BARDET - BESNARD - ROCHET / SUZUKI GSXR / 736 / 24:00:20.551
13 / MAS 14 / PIGEON - PIGEON - ROCHE / YAMAHA R 1 / 733 / 24:02:03.304
14 / TEAM R2CL PLUS / TACHON - COHEN - FLURA / SUZUKI GSXR / 707 / 24:00:40.989
15 / TEAM V RACING / CALLERI - DESMERO - BEARD / SUZUKI GSXR / 687 / 24:01:27.204
16 / Y D MOTOS RACING / MASSON - DENEQUE - BOUVIER / BMW S1000 RR / 618 / 24:01:09.035
17 / SERBIAN RACING TEAM / PERISIC - STOJANOVIC - MISTODE / KAWASAKI ZX 10 / 617 / 24:00:19.556
SUPERSTOCK CLASS POSITIONS TO DATE
T MOTORS EVENTS BO 35, ATOMIC MOTOSPORT 28, VAN ZON BOENIG MOT 22, MCP STARTEAM 67 18, MACCIO RACING 15, '3D ENDURANCE MOTO 14, DG SPORT 13, MOTO 39 COMPETITION 11, MCS RACING IPONE 10, RACING TEAM SARAZIN 8, QERT 7, VILTAIS RACING DIVISIO 6, MAS 14 4, TEAM R2CL PLUS 3, TEAM V RACING 1.
NEXT EVENT: ROUND 02 21 MAY ALBACETE 8H, SPAIN
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