Team Moto Ain aiming for more EWC gains in the Bol d’Or
With two Superstock category wins and last season’s second place overall in the headlining Formula EWC division from six attempts, Team Moto Ain has form when it comes to the Bol d’Or, the deciding round of the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship.
With the engine-straining 1.8-kilometre Mistral Straight testing teams to the limit, plus the prospect of extreme weather changes, Team Moto Ain Team Director Pierre Chapuis isn’t banking on a repeat result from its current rider line-up of Claudio Corti, Corentin Perolari and Isaac Viñales aboard its Yamaha YZF-R1, which is now running on Pirelli tyres. But neither is Chapuis prepared to make up the numbers in his team’s ‘home’ race.
“I’m always happy to come here,” said Chapuis. “Since the return of the Bol d’Or to Le Castellet in 2015, we have won the Superstock category twice, and last year we achieved a great feat by finishing second in Formula EWC. For the members of the team, all these memories are still there and very present, and one of our best partners, Ipone, has its head office a few kilometres from the circuit.
“During the pre-tests, we tried several chassis and engine configurations. Corentin, Claudio and Issac were, as in every race, in the same times. This always helps us in the choice of settings. What works for one will also work for the other two. Our best times were five-tenths faster than our best times of the race so it’s very positive and encouraging. But as we have also changed tyre manufacturer, it is difficult to estimate the real gain of each part and the share to be allocated to Pirelli.
“Last year we bet on a stock engine. We had a pure performance deficit, but it allowed us to complete 685 laps and finish second overall.”