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The Bol d'Or, on 17, 18 and 19 September, is the race that confirms the team and current world champion as the winner of the second of four races in the EWC championship.
With one race remaining in the championship, the Suzuki Yoshimura SERT team literally dominated the scene in a race characterised by bad weather, numerous showers and a few crashes. One of those crashes involved Xavier Simeon, who escaped unhurt but with some damage to his bike, which was immediately dealt with by the technical staff. The rider was able to continue the race, catch up with his rivals and begin the long run to the well-deserved result after 704 laps and 3,993 km.
Control, perseverance, determination and talent were the key values that allowed Xavier Simeon, Sylvain Guintoli, Gregg Black and the whole team to maintain control and finish with an incredible and merited result.
'It's absolutely motivating! Needless to say how incredibly pleased the company is with all the success we are achieving alongside the athletes we support. Simeon, Guintoli and Blaak have shown professionalism and talent as always. Last year the team gave us so many emotions and this year, as reigning world champions, they are not sparing themselves at all. There is one race left to go in the EWC championship, the 8h of Most will decide the outcome. It will certainly be another exciting competition', confirms an enthusiastic Rosella Signori.
Statements after the race (source: team website)
Gregg Black “This is my second victory in a row at the Bol d'Or but the previous edition was shortened because of the weather. This year, the race was much more difficult and mentally exhausting. We started behind in the championship and the first objective was to win the pole position to score precious points. Yoshimura and the team did everything possible to achieve this. In the race, the goal was different. We had to be consistent and focused. We also managed to do it and I think that's why we won.”
Xavier Siméon: “I did a very good first stint and then everything worked well during the night, despite the rain which scared us a bit. From the beginning, we had set some target lap times for the race. We stuck to this schedule. We knew that this would allow us to fight for victory. That's what happened.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “Races are long. This one was perhaps even longer because we had to manage our lead and not make any mistakes. When you are behind, there are fewer questions to ask yourself; you have to attack. So this Bol d'Or victory was not as easy as it seems. There is always a certain amount of chance in competition, but this year we really had all the assets in our hands. The riders are fast and consistent, the bike has fantastic potential and Yoshimura and SERT are one of the best teams I have worked with in my career. For me, as a newcomer to endurance racing, it's a bit of a dream to win the Bol d'Or and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in my first year!”
Next race on 9 October in the Czech Republic
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Image credits www.suzuki-racing.com