Team Suzuki Press Office – April 23.
SERT – #2 GSX-R1000 –24th
April Motos Events – #50 GSX-R1000 – 27th
Junior Team Le Mans Sud – #72 GSX-R1000 (SST) – 8th
Suzuki squads completed the demanding 41st 24 Heures Motos edition at Le Mans in France today.
SERT, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, maintained a podium position for much of the early part of the race, but technical problems dropped them back to 24th place at the chequered flag.
The top Suzuki team at the flag was the Junior Team Le Mans Sud, finishing in an excellent eighth place overall and third in the SST class.
In the early part of the famous 24-hour race, SERT climbed steadily up to second position on the still-evolving Suzuki GSX-R1000 race machine. The three riders; Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black, pocketed an eight-point reward for maintaining that position at the 8-hour mark of the race.
The SERT squad maintained the pressure until the middle part of the race, but then suffered some technical issues that required the Suzuki #2 to repeatedly come into the pits for further adjustments. Despite the efforts of the SERT technical staff to solve the problem, the team had fallen to 35th position at the 12-hour mark.
Fifteen-time World Champions SERT, led by long-term Manager, Dominique Meliand, re-grouped and refocussed and steadily climbed back up through the field to 24th place at the flag.
Dominique Méliand said: “We have not been spared during this difficult race. But we must remind ourselves that this was only our second race on the new GSX-R1000 and we are still learning and improving and fine-tuning the overall package.
“Clearly, we still have some work to do, but we will get there, because this new GSX-R1000 has all the assets to win.”
The 41st 24 Heures Motos edition was not a simple race for the Suzuki April Moto Motors Events team of Mathieu Lagrive, Baptiste Guittet and Gregory Fastré who crashed four hours into the race while holding a strong seventh place. A difficult and extensive repair dropped the team way down the field, but they fought back to a remarkable 27th position at the end of the race.
The best Suzuki team was the Junior Team Le Mans Sud GSX-R1000, of Hugo Clère, Alex Sarrabayrouse and Louis Rossi. The #72 Suzuki finished on the third step of the Superstock podium and an excellent eighth place in the overall ranking.
The third round of the FIM Endurance World Championship will take place on May 12th for the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring in Slovakia