Bolliger Team Switzerland refuse to give up
Bolliger Team Switzerland have rejigged their rider line-up for the Suzuka 8 Hours. British rider Danny Buchan is to replace Roman Stamm, who suffered an injury at Oschersleben. Buchan will partner Sébastien Suchet and Nigel Walraven in the saddle of the privateer team’s Kawasaki.
Bolliger Team Switzerland never admit defeat. Following two noteworthy performances this season, at the Bol d’Or (a 4th-place finish at Castellet) and the 24 Heures Motos (5th at Le Mans), the Swiss privateer team ran into trouble on the Slovakia Ring and at Oschersleben in Germany, where crashes saw them drop out of the Top 5 and deprived them of one of their mainstays. Roman Stamm suffered a triple fracture to his hand after crashing out during a private test in Germany, and will therefore not be going to Japan for the grand finale.
Bolliger Team Switzerland have roped in the young British rider Danny Buchan instead. The 26-year-old races in the British Superbike Championship (BSB). He finished 11th in last season’s BSB and is currently in 5th place. Danny will be making his Endurance debut in Japan in one of the most challenging races, but he has an ace up his sleeve. “Danny races the BSB on a Kawasaki with Pirelli tyres, like us,” the Bollinger crew point out, “and he’s also very familiar with the K-tech suspension we use in Endurance.”
Danny Buchan is upbeat. “Suzuka 8 Hours has been on my bucket list for a while now so to get a phone call to ask if I wanted to go and ride wasn’t a hard decision to make. It’s such a huge prestigious event and I will be riding a Kawasaki ZX-10R on K-Tech suspension and Pirelli tyres. Obviously the bike will be different to my FS3 Racing Kawasaki but it’s a motorbike with two wheels and an engine. So I’m really looking forward to getting started out there as it’s my first endurance event. I’m under no illusions how hard it will be not only mentally but physically. I will soak up as much knowledge as I can and enjoy riding the bike.”
The Swiss privateer team, who are currently 7th in the standings ahead of the grand finale in Japan, have finished the Suzuka race every year since 2010. They turned in their best performance in their maiden year, finishing 9th at the 2010 Suzuka 8 Hours 2010. Bolliger Team Switzerland also wound up as the FIM Endurance World Championship runners-up that year.
Having competed in the endurance championship since the 1990s, Bolliger Team Switzerland are one of the sport’s longest-running competitors, together with Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.