2014 Bol d’Or 24 Hours EWC Results
The 2014 FIM Endurance World Championship got underway this past weekend with the 78th Bol d’Or at Magny-Cours.
And when the first of five-races wrapped up, the SRC Kawasaki team took the win ahead of Yamaha Racing GMT 94 and Team Bolliger Switzerland Kawasaki, respectively.
This was the third Bol d’Or win for SRC Kawasaki, but it wasn’t easy. During practice for the race, rider Matthieu Lagrive suffered a heavy crash, and would not start the race. This left the riding up to Gregory Leblanc and Nicoloas Salchaud.
When the 24-hour race began, a crash on the wet circuit placed the #11 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja outside the top 20. But the team fought hard, and by the end took the win with a five-lap lead over Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin team of David Checa, Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines.
The Yamaha YZF-R1 pilots put in much effort, and was never outside the podium during the Bol d’Or. The French factory Yamaha team took the lead during the night, but got held up around 11 p.m. Sunday due to a crash on the track caused by rainy conditions.
Bolliger Team Switzerland fought hard for the final podium position with Team Motors Events April Moto. But Bolliger Team Switzerland won the duel, with attribution going to Michael Sutter. The Swiss rider impressed on the wet track despite a crash during the night.
Reporting on the race, the FIM says “Endurance fans have rarely witnessed a 24-hour race with so many twists and so much drama. A huge shower at the start shuffled the cards from the word go with crashes for the SRC Kawasaki, Honda National Motos and Junior Team LMS Suzuki, all in it to win.
“The first part of the race was an elbow-jostling battle between Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Honda Racing. Le SERT crashed off the scene during the night leaving an injured Vincent Philippe. Firmly out in front with a five-lap lead after superb contributions from Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert, Honda Racing dropped out just before mid-day with crankcase damage caused by a broken gear system. Monster Energy Yamaha YART went out early on Saturday evening after several crashes that kept it shy of the fray in the leading pack.”
With its win, SRC Kawasaki now has 55 points, five ahead of Yamaha Racing - GMT 94 - Michelin and 13 ahead of Team Bolliger Switzerland #8.
The FIM also reports that the other outstanding feat of this 78th Bol d’Or was pulled off by Junior Team LMS Suzuki. This team, entered in Superstock (without the fast wheel dismounters) rode its way on to the podium alongside the factory teams with Baptiste Guittet, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black on board despite two crashes during the race.
The FIM Endurance World Championship now heads to Japan July 27 for the Suzuki 8 Hours.
2014 Bol d’Or Quotes:
Grégory Leblanc (SRC Kawasaki) says: “I was expecting a tough race because of the weather but when we slipped back to 32nd it was hard to believe we could win. Matthieu Lagrive came back from 32nd to 14th place with a broken vertebra! I don’t think I’d have done that myself. I didn’t see the night go by. It was one of the best races I ever rode in but also one of the toughest.”
Nicolas Salchaud (SRC Kawasaki) says: “This is my second race for team Kawasaki SRC and my second win. So I guess I must say that is the perfect result! I’m really happy for sure and I would like to thank all the team and mechanics.”
Matthieu Lagrive (SRC Kawasaki) says: “After my crash during practice I knew that the race would be difficult for me. But I didn’t expect it would be so difficult. My first session was quite good under the rain. It was not too painful, but at the end of the second one it was safer for me and the other riders on the track to retire. I’m very pleased about this result and I would like to thank the whole team for a job well-done and the support they gave me.”
Gilles Stafler (SRC Kawasaki Team Manager) says: “The week got off to a bad start. With Fabien Foret out and the crash for Matthieu, I wouldn’t have fancied us to win. The best win we ever had in a 24-hour race was our first in Le Mans in 2010. But this one was the toughest. There was also a luck factor in the choice of the tires and we had the support of really top-notch technical staff.”
Kenny Foray (Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin) says: “It’s a great feeling to be back on the podium. I made a mistake and I feel bad about that. When I brought the bike back in a very bad state, the mechanics got it back in shape in just 12 minutes. That was really impressive.”
Christophe Guyot (Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin Team Manager) says: “You could say that we were the survivors, but all the lads on this podium can be very proud of what they have achieved.”
2014 Bol d’Or 24 Hours at Magny-Cours Endurance World Championship Results:
|YAMAHA RACING - GMT 94 - MICHELIN
|TEAM BOLLIGER SWITZERLAND #8
|TEAM MOTORS EVENTS APRIL MOTO
|TMC CITY BIKE TRT 27
|MACO RACING TEAM
|FLEMBBO LEADER TEAM
|TEAM SPACE MOTO 37