Yoshimura SERT Motul: Suzuki GSX-R1000R – 1st
Defending World Champion Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Motul raced to victory at the 24 Heures Motos EWC season opener in Le Mans, France today.
Yoshimura SERT Motul riders Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and Xavier Simeon completed a total of 840 laps at the Bugatti Circuit, 1:45.582 minutes ahead of nearest rivals YART and took 23 pit stops, under favourable weather conditions and in front of a large crowd.
Fast starter Black, from second on the grid, took the holeshot aboard the team’s Suzuki GSX-R1000R and was able to get the better of his opponents right out of the first corner. After spending much of the race in third, the team moved to the front on Saturday night; a position they dominated with a strong race plan, reliable machine and fast, efficient pit stops by the Yoshimura SERT Motul technical staff.
Through the night, the trio of riders remained fixed on the plan and Black took the event lap record at daybreak with a time of 1.36.195. Always focused on its goals, the Franco-Japanese team gave everything to maintain its lead in the race against strong competition.
On the track, the Suzuki riders did not make any mistakes, maintaining control throughout the challenging 24 hour event, which witnessed the deployment of a safety car no less than eight times. The team even overcame a tricky incident during the outing of the second safety car when Guintoli ran out of fuel but, as ever, in the pits, the technical team provided the perfect back-up until the chequered flag fell.
In addition to the extra 23 points acquired in qualifying, and at the 8th and 16th hours of the race, 40 points were earned for the victory which gave Yoshimura SERT Motul a total of 63 points.
• Italian Suzuki team No Limits Motor Team finished fifth overall and second in the Superstock class aboard their privateer GSX-R1000R.
The Yoshimura SERT Motul team will now head to Belgium on June 4th and 5th for the 24 Hours of Spa.
Damien SAULNIER – Team Manager:
“What a week! What a race! I was impressed by the level of performance of all the teams. I am really admiring the work of our three riders. I am also very proud of the whole technical team around me, with Yohei, with the Yoshimura staff in Japan, with the SERT team in Le Mans. I think we are all happy with this race, which was exceptional and fantastic.”
Yohei KATO – Team Director:
“I am glad to start the second season with such a brilliant result and I am very satisfied with the work done by the whole team. We put a lot of effort into preparing for the 2022 season over the winter and it has paid off. We have the same team as when we won the 24 Heures Motos last year, and their hard work has once again been rewarded by a victory!”
“I was expected to do the start because I usually do pretty well. This year it was a bit different. I crashed heavily in the preparatory practice a few days ago where I broke my heel. In the end I managed to get over it and ensure a good start. Then it was an incredible race, with a very strong pace from the beginning to the end. We had to push as hard as we could in every stint because we had some really strong competitors. My teammates were also very strong and the whole team did a great job.”
“The team really did a great job on the strategy to allow us to do a maximum of laps and a minimum of pit stops. On the track, the bike showed an extraordinary potential. We were able to set some incredible lap times. In fact, Gregg broke the absolute record in the race. But it was still a tough race because we had to push hard to the finish line.”
This is a very different victory to 2021. The race was difficult. We need the speed, the strategy, the whole team in the box that worked perfectly. Our fuel consumption was also better than our opponents and that also played an important role. We gave everything this weekend, and today we can be proud to go home with the trophy.”
Photos Courtesy of David Reygondeau @ Good-Shoot