Team Suzuki Press Office – September 16.
SERT – EWC Class – 5th
No Limits Motor Team – SST – 3rd
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team fought back to fifth position at the Bol d’Or 24 Hour Race in France, overcoming a technical problem in the closing hours and losing its chance of victory.
Always within a podium position throughout, the new SERT GSX-R1000 with Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black onboard, led many laps and also officially topped the field at the seventh, eighth and ninth hours of the race, gaining extra race points in the process.
But within four hours from the finish, SERT was forced to pull-in and make an unscheduled pit-stop with a technical issue that lost them several laps, but the 15-time EWC Champions came out fighting and clawed back towards the top and the race continued to the flag.
In 24 hours of demanding racing at the new Paul Ricard Circuit in France, SERT scored a total of 691 laps and with a total of 28 pit-stops.
At mid-race, SERT was leading with a comfortable two-lap advantage and nobody seemed to be able to contest its supremacy.
A gear selector issue, then a slide-off by Philippe delayed the team, even if they kept the contact with the leader. At the end of the race, a clutch to remove closed the podium door. Disappointed but still motivated, SERT continued to push until the flag. They took a total of 41 points – with a bonus awarded in qualifying and the team’s position after the eighth and 16 hours of the race and are currently fourth in the 2018-2019 Endurance World Championship.
Dominique Méliand – Team Manager:
“We moved a step forward even if this fifth position is frustrating. The bike is improving at each test session and each race. Here we proved that victory was clearly possible for us. But there are still many new parts on the bike and the development is going on. We have now six months to prepare for the next round. To do even better, we will clear-up everything. You can rely on us!”
In the Superstock class, the best Suzuki representative was No Limits Motor Team who finished third (12th at the general ranking) with riders Eddy Dupuy, Luca Scassa and Michael Mazzina additionally winning the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy for putting-up a determined fight throughout the race. Junior Team LMS Suzuki remained in this position for many hours before they had to retire two hours before the end.