How a rare problem prevented Simeon from taking home EWC success
Xavier Siméon’s bid for a famous home win when the FIM Endurance World Championship visited his native Belgium for the 24H SPA EWC Motos earlier this month was knocked off course by a technical issue that “never happens”.
Yoshimura SERT Motul had been on top after 10 hours only for Sylvain Guintoli to be forced to pit for a replacement clutch and gearbox for his Bridgestone-equipped Suzuki GSX-R1000R after faults developed. The work took more than 25 minutes to complete.
And there was more drama for the Le Mans-based team when Anglo-Frenchman Gregg Black crashed on the entry to Les Combs as the rain intensified on Sunday morning. Black managed to limp the wrecked machine back to the pits for rapid repairs with Siméon able to challenge, albeit unsuccessfully, for the final podium spot in a thrilling finale.
“I am both disappointed and happy,” said Yoshimura SERT Motul Team Manager Damien Saulnier. “Disappointed because we are not on the podium because of all the problems we had during the race. Breaking a gearbox, it never happens! I don’t remember ever having this problem on a Suzuki.
“As for Gregg’s crash, it was an unfortunate race event. By the way, several riders were trapped in the same place within a few minutes. Obviously, these two hard knocks did not make our job any easier. But each time, we came back to the front. I am very proud of our team’s work. In the end, we scored some important points and increased our lead in the championship.”