Dunlop teams finish on the podium in hard-fought Bol d’Or endurance race
- Three Dunlop teams in the top six at Bol d’Or
- First edition of the legendary 24-hour race since 2019
- Difficult race struck many leading teams
Several Dunlop partner teams were amongst the front runners throughout the 24 hours of flat out racing that made up the Bol d’Or on Saturday and Sunday, with three Dunlop teams ultimately finishing in the top six. These included independent team Moto Ain that scored its best ever result with a runner-up finish.
With 27 out of 41 teams choosing Dunlop tyres, Dunlop entered the 84th edition of the French endurance classic as the best represented tyre manufacturer on the grid. The FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) allows for open tyre competition, meaning teams are free to choose which manufacturer’s tyres to use. As a result of extensive testing and race-winning experience, a majority of teams have chosen to work with Dunlop in this championship.
Two of those teams are championship front-runners BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar. After running in the top positions for the first part of the race, engine troubles took factory-supported both teams out of contention. Cruel bad luck struck a number of other teams in both classes, including Wojcik Racing Team, Superstock leaders National Motos, Team 33 Louit April Moto and Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers CMS Motostore. All of those teams were fighting for podiums in their respective classes and had been enjoying consistent strong pace with their range of Dunlop KR slicks and development tyres.
While several of their rivals dropped out of the race, French Yamaha squad Moto Ain managed to stay on course. As the race entered its final few hours, riders Randy de Puniet, Robin Mulhauser and Roberto Rolfo found themselves second overall, outperforming almost all the factory teams. Despite a minor setback from an accident later on, the No. 96 Yamaha YZF-R1 stayed in second place to give the two time FIM Superstock World Cup winning team its first ever Formula EWC class podium.
No Limits Racing Team came home as the highest-placed Dunlop finisher in the Superstock category, placing third in class and an impressive fifth overall, ahead of most of the Formula EWC teams. The Italian outfit had been leading the class until they became another team plagued with technical issues. Their position was enough to secure first place in the Dunlop Independent Trophy.
VRD Igol Experiences came home third in Formula EWC and sixth overall after a monumental effort from Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Nico Terol to climb back up the order from a crash that significantly delayed their progress.
David Auerbacher, Dunlop’s Event Leader for EWC, said: “We’re proud of the all-round performance of the range of tyres we brought to the Bol d’Or. With changing weather and unpredictable conditions, our partner teams used slick, wet and intermediate tyres from our range throughout the race. We brought tyres for every situation, but the race challenged every team, and us too. Saturday afternoon was warmer than expected and teams had limited dry weather running under their belts because of the rain earlier in the week. The weather forecast during the nighttime part of the race was unpredictable but we made sure to support every one of our teams with a range of suitable tyres.
“It was clearly a race of attrition, with more teams retiring than finishing, so I offer my congratulations to every team that made it to the finish. Commiserations in particular to Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar and BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. Both teams were fighting at the front of the field and deserved a chance to fight for the podium. I have to congratulate Moto Ain for an impressive performance to finish on the EWC podium for the first time: a tremendous effort from that team. It is independent teams like Moto Ain and VRD Igol Experiences, who also finished strongly, that make EWC such a special championship, and they should be proud of their results.”
Dunlop Europe is one of the world's leading manufacturers of motorcycle tyres with an impressive track record of motorsport successes. Dunlop Europe is a technical partner of leading Endurance World Championship teams, the official tyre supplier to the FIM Moto2 and Moto3 World Championships and the most successful tyre brand in the history of the Isle of Man TT. Off-road, Dunlop is the choice of MXGP race winners and champions.