The newly-formed Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team claimed what at one stage appeared to be an unlikely Dunlop Superstock Trophy victory in the 24 Heures Motos.
Two unscheduled stops due to mechanical issues handed Chromeburner-RAC-Honda the initiative among the FIM Endurance World Cup contenders, only for Jonathan Hardt to crash heavily on Sunday morning on oil dropped by a competitor.
But French youngster Loïc Arbel, who partnered compatriot Kenny Foray and Germany’s Jan Bühn to victory, was convinced victory would have gone to his Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team, regardless of Chromeburner-RAC41-Honda’s fate.
“Without the crash we could win because we secure a pace before some problems on the bike,” said Arbel. “After having some problems on the bike we were on the same lap as the #41 bike so we put a good pace in place and we could win.”
Although France-based Chromeburner-RAC-Honda eventually returned to action following extensive repairs in the pits it had to make do with fourth position in class. And having endured a luckless 2022 season, 3ART Best of Bike finished a fine second followed by Honda No Limits.
It proved a race of attrition in the Dunlop-equipped Superstock category. Team Louit April Moto, which started the class on pole position, retired following a crash.
Last season’s FIM Endurance World Cup title winner Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers CMS Motostore was forced out by a mechanical issue shortly after 02h00.
BMRT 3 D Maxxess Nevers was eliminated in an early-race collision, while Aviobike, Falcon Racing, JMA Racing Action Bike, National Motos Honda, OG Motorsport World Endurance Team and Pit Lane Endurance also tried but failed to finish.
However, Slider Endurance, ADSS97, TRT 27 Bazar 2 La Bécane, Wójcik Racing Team, Holland Motorstore Racing, Energie Endurance, Uniserv Moto82 Team, Team 202 and Players all crossed the finish line in the Superstock category.