Suzuki Endurance Racing Team wins 24h Bol d’Or on Dunlop
Two class wins plus two podiums for Dunlop
The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT), FIM Endurance World (EWC) champions, won opening round of the 2016/17 series with ease. Anthony Delhalle took the lead on the fourth lap of the French Paul Ricard circuit and the squad had a trouble free 24 hours of running. Delhalle, Masson and Philippe maintained a strong pace that resulted in a win with an impressive nine lap margin to the next competitor. EWC newcomers Trick Star Racing from Japan took third place in their first ever 24 hour race. After running in the top three in the earlier part of the race, Dunlop partners Honda Endurance Racing retired with three hours remaining due to a mechanical issue while GMT94 Yamaha suffered from two crashes which dropped them to 44th after four hours. The team made a great recovery to finish ninth.
The Endurance World Cup for the superstock class was won by another new team to the series – Moto AIN who battled hard with Tati Team Beaujolais Racing for several hours. A rider new to endurance, but not new to Dunlop tyres, was Alexis Masbou, a regular World Championship Moto2 GP rider. Each stint through the 24 hours was longer than each of his Moto2 races but the Frenchman proved consistent to the end and contributed to the class victory. Tati Team Beaujolais took the second step on the podium at the flag.
Bike 212, Dunlop Motors Events, raced using a prototype of the next generation road-legal Dunlop D212 GP Racer tyre to provide the final validation of the specification before it becomes commercially available in 2017. The tyre will be the newest available for serious track day riders and competitors racing on road legal products. The team finished 11th in class despite a long stop for repairs following an accident. Riders reported that the D212 GP Racer is very close in characteristics to the race-specific tyres.
In the Dunlop Independent Trophy, Moto AIN CRT was the highest finisher, followed by Tati Team Beaujolais Racing and Voelpker NRT48 by Shubert-Motors. The cash prizes continue for a second year to reward independent teams.
In the championship, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team scored maximum possible points, with five of the top seven teams in the standings after the Bol d’Or having chosen to compete on Dunlop tyres.
Jean-Felix Bazelin, Director of Operations, Dunlop Motorsport
“That was a great start to the new season. SERT had a perfect race and it is good to see them start defending their title. GMT94 Yamaha made a great recovery after their problems and it was a shame that Honda Endurance had to retire but they have shown their pace and potential. We are very pleased that two newcomers did so well – it is not easy coming over from Japan and competing in a 24 hour race for the first time, and Trick Star not only finished but finished on the podium. Similarly Moto AIN CRT had a tough job fighting with Tati Team Beaujolias but the new team, complete with our Dunlop one-brand Moto2 rider, performed very well indeed. We must thank all our teams who competed and gave us another exciting and ultra-competitive 24 hour race. It has been a very good weekend for us. Dunlop won the Bol d’Argent for amateur competition on Friday, two Bol d’Or Classic races and then the great results today.”