Team Suzuki Press Office – September 19.

Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R – 2nd in Championship.

The Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Motul fought valiantly but was unable to defend its title chances at the Bol d'Or at the Paul Ricard circuit in France today, Sunday the 19th of September.

The Franco-Japanese team was forced to retire early in the race, due to a technical problem, yet still managed to finish second overall in the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship.

The team has led the 2022 EWC series since the season opener at Le Mans in April, where it won the first 24-hour of 2022 in emphatic style. Arriving at the Paul Ricard circuit with a 23-point lead over its nearest rival, hopes were high for another back-to-back championship win.

Following solid qualifying sessions, the #1 Suzuki started from third place on the grid and quickly went out front with Gregg Black in the saddle.

The first hour of the race went perfectly for the team as it settled towards the front of the pack. However, during the second stint, Japanese rider Kazuki Watanabe encountered a technical problem that forced him to return to the pits. The full technical crew worked hard to solve the problem, which was due to engine failure. However, after three hours of exhausting every avenue of trying to get the bike and riders back on track, the team had no option but to retire after just completing 34 laps of the circuit at Le Castellet.

Despite this last round disappointment, the official Suzuki team, with Yoshimura SERT Motul, dominated EWC in 2021, in its first year of collaboration. Then in 2022 it secured victory at the 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans, France, fourth place in the 24 Hours of Spa EWC Motos, Belgium, and an exceptional third place in the 8 Hours of Suzuka, Japan, clearly underlined the strength of Yoshimura SERT Motul.

Damien SAULNIER – Team Manager:

“Our race stopped after an hour and a quarter, which is very hard. We were not taking any risks on the track, but had a fast pace, keeping in mind our goal to win another title. It's a huge disappointment as the Suzuki is known for its reliability. We almost never retire. Even if we have a crash or a technical problem, we always find the resources to keep attacking. Unfortunately, that was not the case this time. I am disappointed for the whole technical team, who did a great job during the whole week to improve the bike, for all our partners who follow us faithfully, and of course also for the riders who give everything as always.”

Yohei KATO – Team Director:

“I am very disappointed, because we were really motivated to win the title. We did a very good practice, but in the race we only did one full stint. I would have liked at least that we could have fought with our opponents, but we did not have the opportunity. It's very frustrating. It's the first time something like this has happened to us so soon after the start of the race. We had a great season with very good results, despite some difficulties, and we really wanted to offer this title to the whole SERT team and Yoshimura.”

Bol d’Or Image Gallery (David Reygondeau @GoodShoot): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Final Championship Points (round by round): CLICK HERE

For more stories about Gregg Black, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Kazuki Watanabe, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Sylvain Guintoli, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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