Suzuki romp to Bol d’or glory

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

The reign­ing En­durance World Champions, Suzuki En­durance Rac­ing Team (SERT), have romped to suc­cess in the first round of the new and reshuf­fled 2016/2017 season by tak­ing a dom­i­nant win at the Bol d’or 24-hour race.

Prov­ing that there’s life – and re­li­a­bil­ity – in the old GSX-R1000 yet, the all-french trio of Vin­cent Philippe, An­thony Del­halle and Eti­enne Mas­son led all but four laps of the 687 laps they com­pleted of the Paul Ri­card cir­cuit to take vic­tory over the SRC Kawasaki squad.

And while many of their op­po­si­tion dropped out of the chase through crashes and me­chan­i­cal prob­lems, the Suzuki team never fal­tered, mak­ing the most of their ex­pe­ri­ence with the GSX-R1000 that has taken them to 15 world ti­tles in the past with the bike.

The win also gave the team max­i­mum points un­der the EWC’S scor­ing sys­tem of award­ing a propo­tion of points at the half-way point, mean­ing they now hold 60 points in the championship – a huge mar­gin when many of their main ri­vals failed to fin­ish.

The race also gave former Mo­togp podium fin­isher Randy de Pu­niet his first taste of en­durance rac­ing suc­cess, with the French­man join­ing Gre­gory Leblanc and Fa­bien Foret in run­ner-up spot on the SRC Kawasaki.

And Kawasaki en­joyed dou­ble podium suc­cess, with EWC new­com­ers Trick Star Rac­ing in third place. One of the stal­warts of the Suzuka 8-Hour, the race marks the team’s first ven­ture into Europe, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of mul­ti­ple-8 Hour win­ners FCC TSR Honda, who fin­ished fifth be­hind Maco Rac­ing Yamaha.

Both the Yamaha Aus­tria squad and the Lincolnshire-based Honda Rac­ing team of Julian Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Se­bas­tian Gim­bert failed to fin­ish the race, with the teams suc­cumb­ing to what is al­most be­com­ing tra­di­tional en­gine and gear­box prob­lems re­spec­tively.

24-hour suc­cess for Suzuki at the Bol d’or

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