BMW TAKES THE LEAD AT RACE START
BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com led the race before the first refuelling stop, while the official teams fought it out at every stage further back.
Gregg Black made an impression by getting off the grid first and taking the first curve ahead of the others on the Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki bike, but the BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com ridden by Markus Reiterberger quickly powered past to take the lead. The German rider pulled away in the early laps, leaving four machines to jockey for position in his wake. The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team bike with Vincent Philippe in the saddle stayed in second place for 27 laps before being overtaken by GMT94 Yamaha’s David Checa, who had moved up from sixth place. The two riders embarked on a neck-and-neck battle.
Meanwhile, another hard-fought duel was taking place three seconds behind them as Grégory Leblanc on the SRC Kawasaki staved off repeated attacks by Broc Parkes riding the Monster Energy Yamaha YART bike.
A further few seconds behind, another sparring match featured Roman Stamm on the Bolliger Team Switzerland bike and the Honda Racing machine with Sébastien Gimbert riding.
The BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com bike was the first to refuel after 42 minutes and 32 laps, ceding the lead spot to the GMT94 Yamaha bike.