Le Castellet. The anniversary edition of the renowned Bol d’Or at Le Castellet (FRA) marks the season finale of the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) for BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team this weekend (17th/18th September). The 24-hour classic, first held in 1922, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. In action on the #37 BMW M 1000 RR at the Bol d’Or are Markus Reiterberger (GER), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Jérémy Guarnoni (FRA), with Kenny Foray (FRA) as the fourth rider.
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team enjoyed a successful two days of testing at Le Castellet in August in preparation for the Bol d’Or. The team also took part in another private test on the Tuesday of race week. The race weekend officially gets underway with the first free practice and qualifying sessions on Thursday. Then the lights go green for the 24-hour race at 15:00 CEST on Saturday.
In addition to BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, three privateer BMW teams are also contesting the Bol d’Or. Team LRP Poland (#90 BMW S 1000 RR) is a regular team in the FIM EWC. The team from Japan, TONE RT SYNCEDGE 4413 BMW (#85 BMW M 1000 RR), will also be taking part, and will share a garage with BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team at Le Castellet. The French colours will be represented by Seigneur Motorsport Team Mont Blanc (#74 BMW HP4).
Quotes ahead of the Bol d’Or.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The Bol d’Or is very special – a real classic, and there aren’t many races with 100 years of history. Three years ago, in 2019, our works entry journey in the FIM EWC started at the Bol d’Or with the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, and we secured a podium right away. The current season has been one of highs and lows for us. Obviously, the highlight was winning the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps. Now our aim is to end the season on a high. The team and riders are well prepared, and are highly motivated for the Bol d’Or. We’re hoping that there won’t be any issues over the 24 hours, and that the team’s hard work will be rewarded with a top result at the anniversary edition of the Bol d’Or.”
Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “In general, the Tuesday test went well. Like all the other teams, we had some lack of grip because I think there was a car race or something similar before on the track, but in general the bike is working well, the riders are really fast. We had no official timing but we saw that the times were good. The tyres are working well and the weather should also be good for our Dunlops as it is not so hot. So overall we are happy and we will see more in Thursday in qualifying.”
Markus Reiterberger: “We tried several things at the Tuesday test. I was a bit unhappy with grip, it was very slippery and the bike was rolling a lot. I hope that we can make another step in this area. We will give our very best at the weekend and hope that we can achieve the best possible result. The Bol d’Or turns 100 and of course our goal is also here to win, but it is difficult to predict before a 24-hour race if we will be able to do that.”
Ilya Mikhalchik: “The test day was pretty good. I felt quite good on the bike. We tried a few new things which were pretty positive. We know that with our bike we have a good base for the race. I just try to enjoy the season finale and to do a good job.”
Jérémy Guarnoni: “For me, Tuesday was quite a good day, similar to the pre-Bol test we had a couple of weeks ago. The bike and the tyres are working well. Now we will see in the official practice sessions how it will be going then.”
Kenny Foray: “The Tuesday test was good; everything was working well. I am really happy to ride this bike. The tyres are working very well on this track and in these temperatures, which is great. We tried a lot in preparation and now the entire team will be focusing on qualifying and then on the race. I think that we can be confident for the race because all riders are really fast. This is a good base for the rest of the weekend.”
What? 100th anniversary Bol d’Or, FIM Endurance World Championship 2022, Round 4 of 4
When? 15th to 18th September 2022
Where? Circuit Paul Ricard, France
Track length: 5.674 kilometres
Race starts: 15:00 CEST, Saturday 17th September
EWC Qualifying best lap: 1:52.374 minutes
EWC Race best lap: 1:53.707 minutes