Despite a strong competition, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team took victory at Bol d’Or, with Vincent Philippe, Freddy Foray and Olivier Four. The official Suzuki won the 73rd Bol d’Or with a three laps lead over the Honda Michelin Power Research Team of William Costes, Matthieu Lagrive and Josep Monge, and seven laps over the GSR Kawasaki of Kenny Foray, Kenny Noyes and Javier Fores.
After fuel tanks capacity technical control, Honda Michelin Power Research Team was downgraded and penalized of 40 laps. Officially, Honda Michelin finishes tenth.
For this reason, Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers go up finally on the podium. On this Suzuki 18, Stéphane Molinier, David Brière and Jérôme Tangre managed to hold back the Suzuki RAC 41 City Bike of Gregory Junod, Vincent Houssin and Greg Black. The Suzuki Sapeurs Pompiers finished less than 20 seconds ahead of Suzuki RAC 41.
During the two-third of the race, the four favourites were fighting at Magny Cours at a Superbike pace. Depending on pit stops and rider change, the leadership changed several times between the Yamaha Austria Racing Team, the Honda Michelin Power Research Team, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and the Yamaha France GMT 94.
Yesterday evening, Yamaha Austria lost the contact with the leading trio as they suffered a oil leak, but managed to close the gap during the night, as the Yamaha France GMT 94 was facing some over-heating problems. The unfortunate looser of the 2009 Bol d’Or is the Yamaha GMT, who had to retire just after 7 am, with a blown-up head gasket. As they were holding thightly their third place, Yamaha Austria had to face the same over-heating problems, and things even got worst when electric problems occures. The YART stopped in the pits around 12:30 and went back on track for a last lap and passed the chequered flag in 35th place. If they missed the podium, YART can satisfy themselves with the 2009 Qtel FIM Endurance World title.
Great performance as well for Suzuki AM Moto Racing Compétition, who is scoring at Bol d’Or their best result this season. Sullivan Hernandez, Pierre Guersillon and Fabrice Auger took the fifth place. Great result also for Bolliger Team Switzerland in ninth place. A crash the beginning of the race sent the Kawasaki of Horst Saiger, Eric Mizera and Jose Manuel Rita at the back of the pack. They also lost time with a fuel problem. The Swiss team Bolliger finished ahead of the Honda Michelin and the Italian Suzuki No Limits of Gianfranco Guareschi, Victor Casas and Emiliano Bellucci.
In the Superstock class, the battle for victory was not less intense than in the Formula EWC. After 24 hours of race, the Kawasaki Maccio Racing of Lionel Richier, Julien Millet and Fred Moreira took class victory with sixth overall place, ahead of the Suzuki Motors Events Joe Bar Team of Gérald Muteau, Emilien Humeau and Frédéric Bernon. The Suzuki Qatar Endurance Racing Team completes the podium with Mashel Al Naimi, Rashid Al Mannai and Anthony Delhalle. That’s enough for the QERT to win the 2009 FIM World Cup, before the 8 hours of Doha, that will take place on the 14th of November in Qatar.
Great favourite of the Superstock class, the Suzuki Junior Team LMS started the race fifhteen laps behind the leaders. In the second lap, Cédric Tangre on the Junior Team entered the Adelaide corner with a faulty brake. His crash also involved the Honda National Motos of Emeric Jonchière, the Yamaha BK Maco Moto Racing of Dani Ribalta and the Kawasaki Atomic Moto Sport of Jérémy Keller.
This 24 hours race shown no mercy and the retired teams list is impressive. The Yamaha Phase One Endurance, who was seventh at the beginning of the evening, had to retire with a broken crankshaft. Involved in the early collective crash, the Yamaha BK Maco Moto Racing Team was stopped during their come back as their engine broke down in the night. The Suzuki Endurance Moto 45, who was racing for a Superstock podium, had to retire around 11 pm with a broken crank arm. This is the first time this team had to retire since they began racing in Endurance in 2006. The Honda RMT 21 Racing Germany and the Kawasaki Atomic Moto Sport left the race with overheating engine problems. The Yamaha Amadeus X-One, in sixth place after the first hour with Ayrton Badovini, had to deal with two crashes of Anthony Dos Santos and then a broken engine. The first to retire were the Honda National Motos. Emeric Jonchière was hit during the collective crash and had to be sent to the Nevers hospital with a head trauma. He was not allowed to get back on track. They were in fourth position on the starting grid.
On the 53 teams engaged, 40 saw the chequered flag of the 73rd Bol d’Or. The public attendance was 55 000 spectators.
The next and last round of the 2009 Qtel FIM Endurance World championship is the 8 Hours of Doha, the 14th of November in Qatar.