Lucot: Team’s EWC heroics deserved more reward at Le Mans
Viltaïs Racing Igol’s Yannick Lucot said the worst thing about his squad’s retirement from a seemingly certain top-five finish in the 24 Heures Motos was the sense of disappointment shared by the members of the frontrunning French outfit.
A mechanical failure with six and a half hours of the FIM Endurance World Championship event remaining robbed Viltaïs Racing Igol of a fitting reward although the #333 Yamaha did register 13 FIM Endurance World Championship points after starting ninth on the grid.
Having run as high as third at one point despite an electrical issue during the night, hopes of a strong result evaporated when new-for-2022 recruit Erwan Nigon was forced to pit with an engine issue at 09h10 on Sunday.
Despite the team’s best efforts, the failure was beyond repair and Viltaïs Racing Igol was forced to retire its entry, which also included Germany’s Florian Alt and South African Steven Ondendaal, another newcomer for 2022.
“I am not frustrated,” said Lucot. “I am disappointed for the team, for the riders who followed properly the instructions, for the technical team who had the fastest refuelling in the EWC, for all those who took part and helped make this week a success.
“Despite the setbacks, there is a real pride in having a team like ours, united, welded, benevolent. But in a competition, there is a part that we can’t control. Without the engine problem, we would certainly be in fourth place, which was fine for us, as we do not have the same equipment as the official bikes. Unfortunately, this retirement penalises us in the race for the championship. But I am convinced that we have the energy and determination to win the championship one day.”