Honda Racing retires
While the SERT on to its eight-lap lead over the SRC Kawasaki and the Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki has climbed into third place, Honda Racing retired due to mechanical issues.
After having lead the race during the first five hours, Honda Racing has encountered multiple issues since the beginning of the evening. Despite falling down in the standings, Julien Da Costa, Sébastien Gimbert and Freddy Foray were not discouraged and kept setting good times despite having to return to the pits several times during the night. At 10:15 Sébastien Gimbert was stopped on the side of the track: “I heard a strange noise and felt a loss of power. As I was just before the Dunlop curve, I preferred to stop before risking spreading oil on the track and endangering other riders. It’s a shame as even despite being behind we were fighting with the whole team to finish” Once the bike returned to the pits, Steven Casaer, race director, could only declare the retirement: “We found metal filings in the oil and in such conditions it is unnecessary to be a risk for other riders“.
Always eight laps down on the leaders, the SRC Kawasaki maintains its position, its riders setting extremely regular lap times and, insofar as the leading Suzuki appears untouchable, gaining valuable championship points.
The battle for third place is raging between two Superstock teams, the Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki and Team Traqueur Louit Moto 33. The riders of the former, Baptiste Guittet, Romain Maitre and Gregg Black delivering very fast laps, Gregg Black being one of the fastest riders on track in the morning. But Julien Pilot, Emeric Jonchière and Morgan Berchet are on the same pace and both bikes run regularly about 20 seconds apart.
Despite a broken shifter which delayed it overnight, the Team Bolliger Switzerland is fifth ahead of the GMT94 Yamaha once again delayed by a small mechanical issue, in this case a faulty sensor.