FIVE DIFFERENT BRANDS IN THE TOP FIVE POSITIONS
16 hours into the race on the Paul Ricard circuit, five brands (Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, Yamaha and Suzuki) are occupying the five top spots of the 79th Bol d’Or. The night’s biggest beneficiary was the Honda Endurance Racing Team, which took the lead just before 3am.
After leading the race for a long time, SERT’s Suzuki fell victim around 2am to a rear wheel axle problem because of a worn out bearing. After a first repair job, the factory Suzuki returned to the pit box to have a shock absorber damaged by the wear replaced. SERT conceded nearly eight laps to the SRC Kawasaki bike, which briefly took the lead before a chain break slowed it down a few minutes later. All of which played to the advantage of Honda Endurance Racing, which moved into the lead.
Another victim of the night was the Monster Energy Yamaha YART bike, which suffered from engine failure at around 5 in the morning when it was in third place.
At 7am, current championship leader SERT’s Suzuki was lapping in fifth place in the classification, six laps behind the leader.
The BMW Motorrad France Team Penz 13 bike, notably with former GP rider Lucas Pesek in the saddle, was in third place at that point, two laps behind the leader, followed 40 seconds behind by GMT 94’s Yamaha, which is continuing to steadily power its way back up.
The points distribution 16 hours into the race boosted SERT’s position as FIM EWC leader with 126 points, ahead of GMT 94 with 99 points and SRC Kawasaki with 60 points.
In the Superstock class, after Junior Team LMS Suzuki retired, Team Tati Beaujolais Racing’s Kawasaki, in sixth place overall, is leading the category ahead of the Team Traqueur Louit Moto 33 Kawasaki, which is seventh. If the team can hold on to this position it will jeopardize the standing of Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki, currently still heading the Superstock World Cup despite its retirement from the race.