Yoshimura SERT Motul Team Director Kato speaks of pride following EWC DNF
Yoshimura SERT Motul Team Director Yohei Kato has spoken of his pride after a mechanical failure robbed the Japanese squad of a possible Bol d’Or victory repeat and, in all likelihood, a second consecutive FIM Endurance World Championship crown.
After Gregg Black held the lead during the early stages, Kazuki Watanabe was on board the #1 Suzuki GSX-R1000R when trouble struck on 34 laps.
Despite working for more than three hours to try to rectify an engine overheating issue, the team was forced to retire.
“Unfortunately, we had an issue with the engine overheating,” Kato said. “We were in a strong position at the time and the crew showed incredible team work to try and fix it, but it was very difficult due to lack of accessible parts.
“We needed to change certain components for safety reasons, however, even though Suzuki France did all they could to try and help to locate the correct parts, it wasn’t to be.
“Obviously, we are all extremely disappointed. I don’t like to say ‘this is racing’ but it is … I appreciate absolutely everything every member of the team did today to try and get the bike and guys back out on track. I am very proud of the way they worked.
“I’d like to thank our fans for keeping us motivated and apologise for being on track for such a short time today.
“The season is finished. At this point, we don’t know what the final ranking will be, but we did as much as possible and I am proud of the whole team and riders.”
Yoshimura SERT Motul still tops the FIM Endurance World Championship standings but its capture of three points only from qualifying is unlikely to be enough for the team to retain its crown.