Yoshimura SERT Motul victory at record-breaking Bol d’Or
The factory Suzuki team – the reigning champion and winner of the 2019 edition of the Bol d’Or – won a brilliant victory ahead of Yamaha-mounted Moto Ain and the amazing Kawasaki-mounted Superstock team BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers.
Yoshimura SERT Motul led the race for 615 of the 704 laps completed. This year’s edition, the 84th, broke the previous record of 698 laps completed in 2018.
Gregg Black, Xavier Simeon and Sylvain Guintoli fended off the favourites in the early laps but rapidly took control of the race. YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team and Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar were in a position to challenge them and win. But, like all the other factory teams, they didn’t cross the finish line.
In second place 19 laps behind the leader, Moto Ain got on the podium in their very first season in the EWC class thanks to Randy de Puniet, Robin Mulhauser and Roberto Rolfo. They ran a flawless race with only a minor crash towards the end.
BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers’ exploit
Third at the finish, four laps behind Moto Ain, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers wrote their name in history. It is rare to find a Superstock team on the podium of a 24-hour race. The last time a Superstock team was on the podium of an FIM EWC race was at the 2014 Bol d’Or. In the saddle of their Kawasaki, Anthony Loiseau, Jonathan Hardt and Julien Pilot led the Superstock class practically throughout the race. BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers stayed in the lead for 621 of the 681 laps completed in this category.
BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers’ feat was also rewarded with the 2021 FIM Superstock World Cup win – the team’s first World Cup win – even before the final race at Most.
The podium of the 84th Bol d’Or was also noteworthy for its diversity. It featured three manufacturers, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki, and three tyre manufacturers – Bridgestone, Dunlop and Michelin.
As if to prove that Superstock bikes hold up well against the official EWC machines, two other Superstock teams finished in the Top 5. RAC41 ChromeBurner were fourth and the only Honda past the finish line. No Limits Motor Team (Suzuki) were in 5th place.
New FIM EWC hierarchy
VRD Igol Experiences finished 6th overall. Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Nico Terol had been in the Top 5 in the early stages of the race before crashing out. The independent Yamaha team won the points for the 3rd-ranked team in the FIM EWC. This puts them in second place in the standings behind Yoshimura SERT Motul, the new leader on the eve of the season finale at Most.
The Superstock Bol d’Or
11 of the 20 machines past the finish line were Superstocks. OG Motorsport by Sarazin and Falcon Racing finished a noteworthy 7th and 8th, ahead of two EWC teams, Motobox Kremer Racing and Maco Racing Team.
British Superstock team ADSS97 who were competing in their first FIM EWC race finished 11th.
What with the heat at the start and the rain during the night, the 84th Bol d’Or was one of the toughest in the race’s history for both the riders and the bikes. After 24 hours of racing on the Paul Ricard circuit, 20 machines crossed the finish line.
Crashes during the night and engine failure affected many teams including the favourites. The lead players in the early stages who later vanished from the rankings were Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, F.C.C. TSR Honda France, YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team and ERC Endurance-Ducati.
Teams who withdrew because of engine failure included Bolliger Team Switzerland and Wójcik Racing Team. 3ART Best of Bike quit the race with a blocked gearbox after a crash. Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers CMS Motostore were affected by a mechanical issue when they were in the running for the Superstock podium. Another high-profile Superstock, National Motos Honda, withdrew because of an oil leak following crashes. Team 33 Louit April Moto attempted to continue racing with two riders after Luca Vitali was injured but were forced to throw in the towel.
The 2021 Bol d’Or also marked the return of the public for the first time since end-2019. 48,000 spectators were at the Paul Ricard circuit this weekend.
Next FIM EWC race: the final at Most in the Czech Republic on 9 October.