Endurance: Round #1 Honda Racing Race Report – Bol d’Or (Video)

Honda Endurance World Championship Team Race Action Shot Honda Racing Press Release: After almost 21 hours and over 600 laps, the Honda Racing team and its trio of French riders, Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastien Gimbert, were forced to retire from the Bol d’Or 24-hour today following a mechanical problem in the closing stages. However, in accordance with new regulations, the team leaves the opening round of the 2014 Endurance World Championship with 19 points under its belt. An eventful start to the race in wet conditions caused problems for many teams early on, however Honda Racing held steady in the top 3 well into the night, alongside 13-time EWC champions SERT and Team Yamaha GMT94. Following a crash for Da Costa aboard the Fireblade SP just before midnight, the crew were able to repair the minor damage and return the bike to the track in third place within minutes.
Honda Endurance World Championship Team Race Action Shot In the early hours of Sunday morning, SERT crashed out of the lead and subsequently withdrew from the race. The Honda Racing team had made up significant time on then-second place contender Kawasaki SRC and was able to secure the top spot, leading the race for the next 6 hours and establishing a 5-lap margin. Unfortunately, with just 3 hours remaining and Gimbert on his penultimate stint, the gearbox sprocket on the bike broke causing irreparable engine damage and Honda Racing was forced to retire from the race. Despite the disappointment, the team leaves France having proven its race leading capability and with 19 valuable championship points to its name 9 and 10 points earned for placing second and first respectively at the 8 and sixteen-hour intervals.
Honda Endurance World Championship Team Race Action Shot The full standings will be available on completion of the race at 15.00 CEST. The EWC will resume with the legendary Suzuka 8-hour race in Japan in July. Neil Tuxworth – Team Manager: We’re terribly disappointed. I feel so sad for the riders and the team for all the effort they’ve made. It was such a small part that broke, just a gearbox sprocket that damaged the engine and we couldn’t continue. If we’re to take any positives from it it’s that we were the strongest team in the race, we were leading by 5 laps and I’m certain that the team will go on to win some races this year. It’s just very unfortunate that we couldn’t finish the Bol d’Or. We’ve still gained 19-points in the championship so we’re not going away empty handed. We’ll come back fighting next time. Julien Da Costa: This is endurance racing and it is never easy but to go out with so little time left and with such a small problem is frustrating for all the team. We have to look at the positives and we were leading with a good gap and we could have got the win so we just have to wait until next time. Freddy Foray: I heard many riders telling the story of going out in the last hours of the race and now I have this story to tell my children. It is so difficult because the team did such a good job during the race and preparation. It’s hard to lead a 24-hour race and everyone did an excellent job. I tell myself all through the night when my ribs were really painful that I have to do this and we can win, but this is endurance racing. I have to thank everyone in the team. We were unlucky here, but we’ll see you at the next one. Sebastien Gimbert: I know better than anyone the feeling of leading the qualifying, getting the pole and leading the race only to be forced out in the final stage. It is very disappointing for the whole team who have worked so hard, but we proved we can lead the race and we work well together, so we can do it this year. Race Results: 1    SRC Kawasaki    LEBLANC/LAGRIVE/SALCHAUD    Kawasaki 2    Yamaha Racing – GMT 94    CHECA/FORAY/GINES/MAHIAS    Yamaha 3    Junior Team LMS Suzuki    GUITTET/MASSON/BLACK/CAMUS    Suzuki 4    Team Bolliger Switzerland    SAIGER/STAMM/SUTTER/GARCIA    Kawasaki 5    Motors Events April Moto    FASTRE/SAVARY/STORRAR    Suzuki 6    National Motos    TIZON/4/JUNOD/DEBISE    Honda 7    Team R2CL    JONES/MARTIN/GIABBANI    Suzuki 8    Yamaha Viltaïs Experience    BARDET/CARRILLO/NIGON…    Yamaha 9    METISS JLC MOTO    HOLUB/AYER/CHERON/TAUZIEDE    Metiss 10    AM Moto Racing Competition    LOISEAU/MAITRE/BUISSON    Suzuki 11    TMC City Bike TRT 27    AYNIE/BILLEGA/DIARD/HOUDAYER    Suzuki 12    BMRT 3D Endurance    GUYOT/BURLIN/ROMANENS/MANGE    Kawasaki 13    Välpker NRT 48 Schubert    STUPPI/TAKADA/NADALET    BMW 14    Penz13.com Franks Autowelt    PRIDMORE/VALLCANERAS/MACKELS    BMW 15    AZ Motos-April    NAPOLEONE/MEZARD/DUMAIN/KOKES    Suzuki 16    Tati Team Beaujolais Racing    ENJOLRAS/CHEVAUX/PRULHIERE…    Kawasaki 17    MCS Racing – Ipone    SASETA/VIZZIELLO/SANTAMARIA    Suzuki 18    Maco Racing Team    VAN KEYMEULEN/JERMAN/SZKOPEK…    Yamaha 19    No Limits Motor Team    BOSCOSCURO/BUSSEI/CASAS/ROSSO    Suzuki 20    ACR 74    HUGUENIN/VIAL/GRIPPI/…    Suzuki 21    Team Guidon 11    GELAS/DESCOURS/ARNAL    Suzuki 22    Flembbo Leader Team    PROSENIK/BELLUCCI/DERINE/…    Kawasaki 23    Team Space Moto 37    GALLERAND/NOUVELLON/ROCHE/…    Suzuki 24    Aprilia Le Mans 2 Roues    POLESSO/PARISSE/CHABANY    Aprilia 25    MSR    LEPAND/DELANOE/CHARLOUX/…    Suzuki 26    PlusRace Compétition    NAVARRETE/MONIER/JACOBY/BETELLI    Suzuki 27    2CP Racing Bourgogne    MAJASTRE/CHELI/PETITJEAN/SIMON    Kawasaki Retired: 29    Honda Racing    DA COSTA/FORAY/GIMBERT/…    Honda    EWC 30    Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers    MAURIN/EGEA/ALARCOS    Kawasaki 31    ACRO Racing Team    JEAN/GRIMBER/LUCAS    Yamaha 32    Racing Team Sarazin    MONGE/AUGER/MAJOR    Kawasaki 33    Hall Motos 02    TANGRE/HEDELIN/DE CAROLIS/…    Kawasaki 34    SERT    PHILIPPE/DELHALLE/NIGON/CUDLIN    Suzuki 35    Motobox Kremer Racing    GAZIELLO/SCHERRER/PAAVILAINEN    Suzuki 36    QERT    CUDLIN/AL NAIMI/PRINZ/AL SULAITI    Kawasaki 37    ECS1    MECENE/GERARD/MACCIO/AUBRY    Kawasaki 38    Starteam PAM-Racing    LUCAS/HARDT/LONGEARET    Suzuki 39    RS Speedbikes Racing    ALTENDORFER/BAUER/LA-WE/KOLLAN    BMW 40    YART    MAXWELL/OLSON/JERMAN    Yamaha 41    Team Dunlop Motors Events    PEPIN/LOUAULT/HUGOT/DEHAYE    Suzuki 42    Team Racing + Oüi FM    VIGNEAU/LE COQUEN/DUVIGNEAU/…    Kawasaki 43    Traqueur Louit Moto 33    PERRET/MARCHAND/STARING    Kawasaki 44    Team JCB Accelaration    DUBRAY/MESLET/CAHAGNET/COHEN    Kawasaki 45    ECS2    BERCOT/NISHIJIMA/HERVEUX/…    Kawasaki 46    Amazone Fire    REMY/TAKASUGI/DUPUY    Suzuki

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