News 23 May 2010

EWC: Tough day for Australians in the 8 Hours of Albacete

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team took victory in Spain following a fantastic comeback, winning the 8 Hours of Albacete contested on Saturday evening.

After being sent to the end of the pack from the start of the race, Vincent Philippe, Daisaku Sakai and Freddy Foray took the leadership after six hours of racing and finished one lap ahead the Kawasaki Bolliger Switzerland of Horst Saiger, Patric Muff and Roman Stamm, which did a great race. After their sixth place at Le Mans, that gives Bolliger the provisional championship leadership.

There was some intense battle for the third place on the podium between the Spanish Yamaha YMES Folch Endurance of Pedro Vallcaneras, Jordi Almeda and Jose-Luis Rita, and the French Honda National Motos of Emeric Jonchière and David Morillon. The podium goes finally to the Honda.

The Suzuki RT Moto Virus of Lucas de Carolis, Eric Mizera and William Grare is rewarded from their faultless race by a fifth place, ahead of the Suzuki AM Moto Racing of Julien Millet, Anthony dos Santos and Raphael Chèvre. After a start from pole position, but rapidly sent at the back of the pack like the SERT, the Honda BMP Elf 99 of Matthieu Lagrive, Damian Cudlin finished in eight place.

The Team X-One takes victory in the Superstock class with Emiliano Bellucci, Vittorio Iannuzzo and Luca Bono, ahead of the Kawasaki Atomic Moto (Lorenzo Sainz, Emmanuel Thuillier, Michael Lalevée) and the BMW Andalucia of Alvaro Molina, Camille Hedelin and Agoston Rosivall.

A collective crash from the beginning of the race added some serious drama, as an oil patch sent on the ground not less than ten machines, including the leader, SERT, battling with Yamaha Austria, Honda BMP Elf 99, the Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone and the Suzuki from Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers and Qatar Endurance Racing Team 1.

The SERT and Honda BMP Elf 99 managed to get back on track but for some others the chances to clinch onto the podium were gone. Injured riders of Yamaha France GMT 94 (Gregorio Lavilla) and the Suzuki Sapeurs Pompiers (Jérôme Tangre) could not bring back the bike to the pits.

BK Maco Moto had to give up, with a leaking radiator; Yamaha Austria, since their bike was damaged by a second crash, couldn’t make a great result and finished in 9th position in EWC with Aussie Steve Martin. The Yamaha LTG 57 spent 20 minutes to repair a front fork and finished 13th in the Superstock class.

Damian Cudlin’s Honda BMP Elf 99 team finished seventh after their early crash, the Aussie scoring pole position earlier in the weekend – his first since entering the series in 2002.

Since they managed to avoid the collective crash, RMT 21 Racing Germany and RAC 41 City Bike were in the leading trio until mid-race. The Honda RMT 21 had to give up as one of their two riders, Fred Moreira, was injured after a crash.

The Suzuki RAC 41 also left the race due to some crashing. The BMW Colexon Racing Team, once well placed in the beginning of the race in the Superstock class, had to retire as the gearbox broke down.

The next round of the 2010 Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship will take place on 25 July for the 8 Hours of Suzuka in Japan.

Click here for detailed results