2015-09-19T00:00:00+02:00September 19th, 2015|Bol d'Or 2015|

The 79th Bol d’Or was flagged off at 3pm in brilliant sunshine on the Paul Ricard circuit at Castellet. The favourites took the lead from the outset. At 11pm, SERT’s Suzuki was firmly in the lead, with several incidents punctuating the first eight hours of the race.

The first drama was David Checa’s crash on the GMT94 Yamaha right at the start of the race. After being pushed back along the safety lane and spending several long minutes in the pit box, the R1, reigning world champion, rejoined the track, four laps behind the leaders, to start a fantastic job of working its way back up.

Right from the beginning of this Bol d’Or, the SRC Kawasaki ridden by Fabien Foret, who clocked the fastest lap time of 1’58’’979, took the lead, ahead of world championship leader SERT’s Suzuki and the Honda Endurance Racing bike. But after the first handover at 3.40pm, the factory Kawasaki dropped back from top spot.

The Suzuki ridden by Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson and the Honda Endurance Racing bike with Sébastien Gimbert, Julien Da Costa and Freddy Foray in the saddle took over the lead in the race, but the squad led by Dominique Méliand, manager of SERT, got the upper hand, lapping more than one and a half minutes faster around 11pm.

The Kawasaki is right on the Honda’s tail trying to catch up with the leaders while the

Monster Energy Yamaha is in fourth place, a little over a minute behind the Kawasaki.

Behind them, two teams that had some bad luck at the beginning of the race are steadfastly working their way up the classification: BMW Motorrad France Team Penz 13. com is fifth, four laps from the leader, outpacing the GMT 94 Yamaha bike by less than a minute.

Another unlucky squad, Bolliger Team Switzerland, was forced to retire after Nicolas Salchaud crashed.

The Bol d’Or is the final round of the FIM EWC, slotting teams into their final positions in the world title stakes. At the 8-hour mark, SERT scooped the 10 bonus points, while GMT 94 Yamaha picked up 5 points.

In the Stocksport category, Traqueur Louit Moto 33’s Kawasaki took the lead after Junior Team LMS Suzuki retired, and is in a satisfactory seventh place overall. Gregg Black took a tumble around 6.40pm when he was riding the Junior Team LMS’s Suzuki bike, previously affected by an overheating problem.