2015-09-18T00:00:00+02:00September 18th, 2015|Bol d'Or 2015|

The SRC Kawasaki bike finished the closely fought qualifying sessions ahead of the YART and GMT 94 Yamahas. The first Honda came in fourth, ahead of current FIM EWC world championship leader SERT’s Suzuki.

Under the sunny skies of Provence, SRC Kawasaki celebrated the return of the legendary motorcycle endurance race to the Paul Ricard circuit at Castellet by taking pole position with a lap time of 1’58’’278. As a native of the Var, team manager Gilles Stafler was satisfied with both the outcome and the Bol d’Or’s return to the south of France after 15 years on the Magny-Cours circuit. “I’m determined to win this race to make up for an unlucky season. And since I live 70 km from here (in Cannet-des-Maures), I’m happy to find myself back on this circuit and, most of all, back in the sunshine!” One of his riders, Grégory Leblanc, summed up the team’s objective perfectly. “We’ll be trying for a win – we’ve got nothing to lose as far as the championship goes. We found a good set-up this morning. Watch out for us: we’re going to try and lead the race right to the end.”

For this final round of the FIM EWC, Team SRC Kawasaki (Fabien Foret, Matthieu Lagrive and Grégory Leblanc) got ahead of the Monster Energy Yamaha–YART squad (Max Neukirchner, Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morais), lapping 1’58’’490 (the average lap time of all three riders) and the GMT 94 Yamaha team (Kenny Foray, David Checa and Mathieu Gines), who clocked 1’58’’887.

“It’s a very emotional feeling, being back here,” said Christophe Guyot, the GMT 94 manager. “I’d like to thank Magny-Cours for hosting the event all these years, but I’m very happy to be back in the Var, which is real motorcycling territory.”

The SERT–GMT 94 duel for the world title

GMT 94 Yamaha is hoping to win its much-awaited duel for the world title with current championship leader SERT, on Suzuki (Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson), which will start fifth on the grid after clocking a best time of 1’59’’551.

Right behind Dominique Méliand’s team, BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13. com made an impact with the fastest lap of the day: Markus Reiterberger clocked 1’57’’253, powering down the Mistral straight at a speed of nearly 340 kph.

In the Stocksport class, another BMW – ridden by the Völpker NRT 48 & Penz 13 team – was first in its category and in seventh place on the grid, just ahead of the Junior Team LMS Suzuki currently heading the Endurance world cup.

So the 79th Bol d’Or is set to be a hotly fought battle under sunny skies, with thousands of fans expected to turn out to cheer the race winner as well as the world champion and Endurance world cup winner.

The race starts at 3pm this Saturday.