Tag Archives: 2019 Bol d’Or

Floods, engine failures, flames and disqualifications mar Bol d’Or

With thunderstorms and more heavy rain forecast during the night Race Direction, after consultation with the Team Managers, decided to suspend the race until 0600 the following morning, when weather conditions were predicted to improve.

Bol dOr Start
2019 Bol d’Or

The Bol d’Or then resumed on a still-damp track with the riders going out behind the safety cars in the same order as the lap before the red flag was raised to suspend the race.

Bol dOr Wet Early
2019 Bol d’Or

F.C.C. TSR Honda France restarted in the lead ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, YART Yamaha, Webike SRC Kawasaki France, Wójcik Racing Team and Tecmas BMW GMC.

Bol dOr Re Start
2019 Bol d’Or

Loris Baz, stand-in rider at the Bol d’Or for YART Yamaha regular, Broc Parkes, was riding his second consecutive stint aboard the YART Yamaha YZF-R1, and had just reclaimed the race lead after a pit stop when the FCC TSR Honda ridden by Mike Di Meglio suffered an engine failure and dropped oil throughout the 180 degree Le Beausset corner.

F.C.C. TSR Honda suffered an engine failure which then brought down two of their main rivals

Erwan Nigon, running third aboard the SRC Kawasaki, was the first to go down on the oil closely followed by Baz, whose bike then collided with the Kawasaki. Both bikes caught fire and were almost completely destroyed before marshals managed to extinguish the flames. Fortunately, both the riders and the marshals walked away uninjured.

Bol dOr Safety Car
2019 Bol d’Or

After dominating qualifying for the 83rd edition of the Bol d’Or at Circuit Paul Ricard YART saw their aspirations for victory go up in flames.

Loris Baz – YART Yamaha EWC

“I’m frustrated and incredibly disappointed, as you can imagine, but also relieved that the crash wasn’t more serious for Erwan, because my bike hit him and his bike so hard and then they both caught fire with him still next to them. It’s the scariest crash I’ve ever been involved in and I think they could have been a bit quicker with the safety car. It was impossible to see the oil because there were still many parts of the track that were wet and the first I knew about it was when I lost the front. To finish like this is a real shame, as the whole team has done a fantastic job, my two teammates have been so strong on the bike from the start and we had a really good pace, not just in qualifying but also in the race. The restart this morning was tough. Riding through the night is one thing, but having to sleep, get up at four in the morning and then jump on the bike at six for two stints like Niccolò did is not so easy. My first stint on slicks was good and I took a lot of time out of the FCC TSR Honda to take the lead and then pull away. Marvin was ready to take over, but I decided to double stint as I had a good feel for the track conditions, which were still quite tricky. Everything was going really well and then… I’m really sad for the team, because we were so strong, and we should have won here today.”

Bol dOr Start SERT Gregg Black
2019 Bol d’Or

Surviving the trials and tribulations of a 24-Hour race…

Lasting until the end it was Suzuki Endurance Racing Team that tasted victory once again, crossing the finish line of the Bol d’Or one lap ahead of the Yamaha-mounted Polish squad Wójcik Racing Team, who had led the race for some time before being overhauled by Etienne Masson 19 hours in to the race.

Bol dOr Wojcik Yamaha
Wójcik Racing Team, with Gino Rea, Christoffer Bergman and Axel Maurin

Germany’s BMW-mounted Team ERC Endurance joined them on the podium, only to hours later then have their result declared null and void after post-race scrutineering and the FIM jury demoted Team ERC Endurance for non-compliance with the rule regarding fuel tank capacity.

Bol dOr Team ERC BMW Disqualified Later
The ERC BMW Team celebrated their podium only to then be disqualified due to their fuel tank being larger than permitted

Thus the ERC Endurance team had to cede their place on the podium to the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, who were making their FIM EWC debut at the Bol d’Or.

Bol dOr BMW Fuel
The fuel tank on the third place finishing BMW was found to be larger in volume than what regulations permit
17th Bol d’Or win for SERT

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team won the Bol d’Or for the 17th time with riders Vincent Philippe (for whom this is both his 9th Bol d’Or win and his last time competing in the race), Etienne Masson and Gregg Black.

Bol dOr SERT Winners Vincent Philippe Etienne Masson Gregg Black
SERT – Vincent Philipp, Etienne Masson, Gregg Black

The factory-backed Suzuki once again tasting victory – their first in the World Championship since their 2016 Bol d’Or win with Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson. 

Bol dOr Paul Ricard
2019 Bol d’Or

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team

Vincent Philippe

“I was focused on the last stint and I really appreciated that Damien allowed me to finish the race. I want to thank the new SERT for their hard work and constant improvement day after day. But I won’t forget the former team without whom we wouldn’t be here.”

Bol dOr SERT Win Vincent Philippe
Vincent Philippe takes the chequered flag and victory

Etienne Masson

“It wasn’t easy to go back on track this morning, but the bike was working well, and we quickly found the right pace. This race was very special because it was the last Bol d’Or with Vincent. We experienced very strong emotions working together and I am really happy to end this story with a victory.”

Bol dOr SERT Trophy Trio Vincent Philippe Etienne Masson Gregg Black
SERT – Vincent Philipp, Etienne Masson, Gregg Black

Gregg Black

“It was a very strange race. The track was very tricky, and the race direction took the right decision for the riders’ safety. We were very consistent all through the race. The team worked really well, and I want to thank them all for this victory because it’s my first victory in a 24-hour race.”

Bol dOr SERT Trophy Vincent Philippe Etienne Masson Gregg Black
SERT – Vincent Philipp, Etienne Masson, Gregg Black

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team started the 2019-2020 FIM EWC at the top of the standings with 49 points and finished ahead of a somewhat unexpected challenger – Wójcik Racing Team.

Bol dOr Wojcik Yamaha
Wójcik Racing Team, with Gino Rea, Christoffer Bergman and Axel Maurin

The Polish Yamaha team led throughout the early stages of the race in the rain with riders Gino Rea, Christoffer Bergman and Axel Maurin, and subsequently held back their rivals.

Bol dOr Wojcik Racing Yamaha Podium Gino Rea Christoffer Bergman Axel Maurin
Yamaha was represented on the Bol d’Or podium by the Wójcik Racing Team, with Gino Rea, Christoffer Bergman and Axel Maurin finishing in an incredible second place aboard their YART Yamaha prepared EWC class YZF-R1.

The fratricidal duel that unfolded between two BMWs in the final stages of the race, with Team ERC Endurance (Mathieu Gines, Julien da Costa and Louis Rossi) facing off against BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team (Ilya Mikhalchik, Julian Puffe and Kenny Foray). In the end, Team ERC Endurance took the chequered flag with a 4-second lead on the factory BMW squad, but were then demoted for fuel tank size irregularities. 

Bol dOr BMW World Endurance
BMW World Endurance Team

Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“It was a turbulent opening race with a very good result. There has never been a Bol d‘Or like it. On one hand, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team faced an additional challenge since we did not to find a good rain set-up for the chassis and electronics in the run-up. Ilya also had his first ever experience of Dunlop rain tyres in the race. In this respect, the interruption suited us. On the other hand, as a totally new project it might have benefitted us that the team and bike weren’t subjected to the usual pressures of a full 24-hour distance. But overall, it has to be said that with our speed, the pit stops, the team performance and also in terms of fuel consumption, we were on track. That shows that we have developed a super basis in the short time available. Yes, we were gifted a few places by the problems the top teams experienced, but that’s all part of 24-hour races. Toward the end of the race, we struggled with a minor technical problem which cost us the podium by four seconds. It would have been amazing, but to come away with a fourth place is still remarkable. Congratulations to our customer team ERC, who overtook us eight minutes before the end of the race, thereby securing the spot on the podium.”  (These quotes were made before ERC was later disqualified, thus the factory BMW Team did in face end up with a podium result.)

Bol dOr Team BMW Endurance Ilya Mikhalchik Julian Puffe Kenny Foray
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team (Ilya Mikhalchik, Julian Puffe and Kenny Foray)

Having started from 23rd position, Omega Maco Racing Team (Pawel Szkopek, Bjorn Estment and Karel Hanika) were 5th past the finish line, ahead of VRD Igol Pierret Experiences (Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Ricardo Brink).

Bol dOr Moto Ain
In the Superstock class it was the reigning champions Moto Ain who took the win with their SST specification Yamaha YZF-R1, piloted by Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clere.

Moto Ain ran a near-flawless race to take the Superstock victoruy. The Yamaha-mounted team finished 7th to take the Superstock win, pocketing the 40 points awarded for the victory in this class as well as the 10 points awarded at each of the two intermediate stages of the race, plus 4 bonus points for being the 2nd Superstock on the starting grid. 

Bol dOr MotoAin Superstock P
In the Superstock class it was the reigning champions Moto Ain who took the win with their SST specification Yamaha YZF-R1, piloted by Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clere.

62,000 spectators turned out to watch the 2019 edition of the Bol d’Or despite the adverse weather conditions.

Bol dOr Superstock Podium
In the Superstock class it was the reigning champions Moto Ain who took the win with their SST specification Yamaha YZF-R1, piloted by Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clere.

The next race on the 2019-2020 FIM Endurance World Championship calendar is the 8 Hours of Sepang, a new race to be held in Malaysia on Saturday 14 December as part of a double-header car/motorcycle event featuring the FIM EWC and the FIA WTCR/Oscaro.

Pos Team Time Gap/Lap
1 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team 24:00:24.254
2 Wójcik Racing Team 24:02:08.575 1 Lp.
4 Omega Maco Racing Team 24:01:09.525 3 Lp.
6 MOTO AIN 24:01:53.631 3 Lp.
8 TECMAS BMW GMC 24:00:51.968 4 Lp.
9 BMRT 3D MAXXESS NEVERS 24:01:00.611 4 Lp.
10 3ART- MOTO TEAM 95 24:00:45.069 6 Lp.
11 National Motos 24:01:42.315 6 Lp.
12 MOTORS EVENTS 24:02:09.532 6 Lp.
13 Wójcik Racing Team 2 24:01:10.579 8 Lp.
14 GERT56 by GS YUASA 24:01:20.346 8 Lp.
15 Bolliger Team Switzerland 24:01:50.911 9 Lp.
16 MOTOTECH EWC TEAM 24:02:16.514 9 Lp.
17 ITeM17 24:00:37.246 10 Lp.
18 No Limits Motor Team 24:00:51.584 10 Lp.
19 AM Moto Racing Competition 24:01:51.420 10 Lp.
20 ENERGIE ENDURANCE 91 24:01:37.760 11 Lp.
21 Rac 41 24:01:39.554 13 Lp.
22 PLAYERS 24:01:29.202 14 Lp.
23 SUZUKI JEG – KAGAYAMA 24:02:19.902 15 Lp.
24 JMA MOTOS ACTION BIKE 24:00:56.489 17 Lp.
25 Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto 24:01:42.055 19 Lp.
26 Junior Team LMS Suzuki 24:01:25.944 20 Lp.
27 Zuff Racing Honda SwissTeam 24:01:27.785 22 Lp.
28 GIRLS RACING TEAM 24:02:11.495 22 Lp.
29 Dunlop Motors Events 24:00:40.849 23 Lp.
30 Team LRP Poland 24:01:46.479 23 Lp.
31 FSB MATT RACING 24:00:32.067 25 Lp.
32 Bertl K. Racing Team 24:02:16.398 25 Lp.
33 PITLANE ENDURANCE 24:01:24.767 26 Lp.
34 TEAM 202 24:00:41.200 27 Lp.
35 PLR 24:00:42.576 27 Lp.
36 Pecable Racing Team 24:02:03.678 28 Lp.
37 LCR ENDURANCE 24:02:04.503 32 Lp.
38 Falcon Racing Rennes Motos 24:01:24.882 33 Lp.
39 TeamGP 24:02:06.194 36 Lp.
40 EMRT 24:00:40.111 39 Lp.
41 TRT27 BAZAR 2 LA BECANE 24:01:55.584 42 Lp.
42 British Endurance Racing Team 24:00:55.538 48 Lp.
43 LMD63 24:00:56.858 76 Lp.
45 Space Moto 37 20:37:19.191 132 Lp.
46 F.C.C. TSR Honda France 18:09:19.174 169 Lp.
47 YART – YAMAHA 18:00:45.999 170 Lp.
48 WEBIKE SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE 18:00:04.488 172 Lp.
49 Team Aviobike 18:01:24.258 181 Lp.
50 HRT 100 – Hertrampf Racing Endurance 17:49:36.150 184 Lp.
51 METISS 18:54:55.616 188 Lp.
52 KAWASAKI CATALA ACLAM 17:37:15.013 189 Lp.
53 Team FLAM Racing / InfiniTeamMoto 17:29:48.415 195 Lp.
54 Motobox Kremer Racing #65 02:38:39.676 262 Lp.
55 OG MOTORSPORT BY SARAZIN 00:48:00.386 292 Lp.
56 Team ERC Endurance 24:00:31.399 2 Lp.

2019-20 FIM EWC Championship Points Standings

Pos Team / Equipe Bike Total
1 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 60
2 Wójcik Racing Team Yamaha 48
4 Omega Maco Racing Team Yamaha 30
8 3ART- MOTO TEAM 95 Yamaha 20
9 National Motos Honda 15
10 F.C.C. TSR Honda France Honda 13
11 YART – YAMAHA Yamaha 13
14 Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki 11
16 Zuff Racing Honda Swiss Team Honda 8
17 Team LRP Poland BMW 7
19 Bertl K. Racing Team BMW 5
20 EMRT Yamaha 4
21 British Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 3

Source: MCNews.com.au