HEATED BATTLES FOR THE LEAD
GMT94 Yamaha and SERT, the two official teams currently topping the FIM EWC standings, are locked in a magnificent duel for top spot; meanwhile, the SRC Kawasaki bike has suffered engine failure, and the Honda Racing machine ran out of fuel.
The pace at the front of the race is cracking, with the GMT94 Yamaha bike and the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team regularly lapping at 1.28 in a fierce neck-and-neck duel.
The Monster Energy Yamaha YART bike is just one lap behind, straining to catch up with the leaders, while Bolliger Team Switzerland has moved up to fourth place.
BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com led the race for the first hour of the race but, needing to refuel more frequently, has since slipped back to fifth place.
There were two major incidents during the third hour of the race. The Honda Racing team, for whom fuel consumption is usually a strong point, ran out of fuel when they were in fourth place. Julien Da Costa had to push the bike back to the pits, and Freddy Foray returned to the fray in 18th place after the tank was topped up.
Meanwhile, when he was in second place 2hrs 40 minutes into the race, Matthieu Lagrive was spotted slowing down on the side of the track on the SRC Kawasaki bike. The cause was crystal clear: engine failure.
Team April Moto Motors Events newcomer Victor Casas fell while the team was in the top ten.
In the Superstock category, Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki is currently top of the class in sixth place, with its nearest rivals, the German team of Völpker NRT 48 & Penz13 by Schubert Motors, in eighth place.
Tati Team Beaujolais Racing had a mechanical problem while they were in eight place; rider Julien Enjolras was seen pushing the bike. Meanwhile, Gary Mason, one of British team Prime Factors Racing’s riders, had a big crash.