Challengers make their presence felt
Some incidents affecting the favourites have opened up a possibility for the challengers to give a podium spot a try. Six hours into the race, the Top 10 features Mercury Racing, Bolliger Team Switzerland, Maco Racing Team and Wepol Racing by Penz13.
With GMT94 Yamaha playing lone ranger in the lead ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France and a Suzuki Endurance Racing Team slowed down by brake problems, the challengers are seizing the opportunity to get closer to the podium.
After stalking the leaders since the start of the race, Mercury Racing is lapping in 4th place 6 hours into the race. Karel Hanika, Jakub Smrž and Sylvain Barrier in the saddle of the Czech BMW are leading Tecmas BMW’s Julien Da Costa, Camille Hédelin and David Perret; Johan Nigon, Anthony Dos Santos and Louis Bulle on Maco Racing’s Yamaha, and Roman Stamm, Robin Mulhauser and Sébastien Suchet on Bolliger Team Switzerland’s Kawasaki.
All of them are two or three laps behind the leader and well placed to attempt a spot on the podium.
The favourites currently having a hard time of it include Team SRC Kawasaki, delayed by a crash, Honda Endurance Racing and the BMW-mounted NRT48, hampered by electronics issues, and YART Yamaha, which has now withdrawn after Marvin Fritz crashed out, because the bike is too seriously damaged.
In Superstock, the favourites are holding on. Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences, currently in 8th place, is leading the category thanks to Axel Maurin, Florian Alt and Vincent Lonbois. Moto Ain is close behind with Roberto Rolfo, Alexis Masbou and Christoffer Bergman, ahead of Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki’s Hugo Clère, Alex Sarrabayrouse and Louis Rossi.
There are another 18 hours to go in the race.