News 26 Aug 2010

EWC: World Endurance series tight at the top into Bol d'Or

The Bol d’Or will be a decisive round of the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship, with four of the main contenders for the 2010 title in the provisional top five within a small gap of 16 points, as 35 points are to be taken by the winner of the next 24 hours race.

The Kawasaki of Bolliger Team Switzerland is currently leading the championship due to very regular results so far from the first three races of the season with Patric Muff, Horst Saiger and Roman Stamm.

Ten points behind are the world champion Yamaha Austrian Racing Team of Australian Steve Martin, Igor Jerman, and Gwen Giabbani. With a podium at Le Mans but an average race at Albacete and no points scored at Suzuka, YART can’t afford another mistake.

YART will have to deal with the pressure from two highly motivated teams, the Le Mans winner GSR Kawasaki with Julien Da Costa, Olivier Four and Gregory Leblanc, and the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, winner at Albacete after they had to retire from the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Winner of the 2009 Bol d’Or, SERT will race with Vincent Philippe, Freddy Foray and the Japanese rider Daisaku Sakai. Seriously injured at Le Mans, Guillaume Dietrich is coming back into racing as the fourth rider.

Those four teams are not the only ones with ambition for victory – and the 35 points.

The Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone, with David Checa, Kenny Foray and Greg Junod, borrowed from team RAC 41 to replace Gregorio Lavilla, still injured after his crash at Albacete, surely wants to score a podium after a fourth place at Le Mans and two DNF results at Albacete and Suzuka.

The BMP Elf 99 Racing team is moving from its partnership with Honda and Dunlop and enters a new challenge with BMW. The Belgian team of Michael Bartholemy is taking over the official BMW and their Michelin tyres and will take part in the race with a high-class trio of riders, Sébastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon and Matthieu Lagrive.

Even if this mid-season change adds some difficulty for the team BMP, we can be sure that the BMW 99 will be one of the fastest motorbikes on the track.

In the Superstock class, the Junior Team Suzuki LMS wants to take revenge after a dreadful 24 Hours of Le Mans experience. The Suzuki of Qatar Endurance Racing Team, current leader of the FIM World Cup and including Aussie Alex Cudlin, will try to keep their lead over the Yamaha X-One, Superstock winner at Albacete.

The first qualification sessions will take place on Thursday, 9 September on the Magny-Cours racetrack.

The event will also host a round of the FIM e-Power International Championship, reserved to electric-powered motorcycles, as well as a round of the Sidecar FIM World Championship.