The Yamaha France GMT94 Michelin Yamalube Team delivered an incredible performance yesterday, taking second in the World Endurance Championship’s opening round, The Bol d’Or at the Magny Cours circuit in France.
SRC Kawasaki won the event and Team Bolliger Switzerland completed the podium in third place.
Regular GMT riders David Checa, Kenny Foray and French Supersport rider Mathieu Gines, were joined by Lucas Mahias as a fourth rider on the Yamaha YZF-R1 for the gruelling 24hr endurance race.
The seasoned team of racers were never outside the top three for the entire 24hrs of the race, starting from second on the grid they battled through both wet and dry conditions to keep control of their podium fight. As the race entered the night the team took the lead and looked strong enough to hold the front for a race win until a rain shower and subsequent wet track caused a crash ahead of them, slowing them up and costing valuable time.
The team had their own share of drama, Kenny Foray crashed out with the R1 in the difficult conditions but was able to re-join and bring the bike back to the team of mechanics. The crew were able to deliver the necessary repairs in record time, getting next rider David Checa back out and into the action.
The Superstock class saw a mirror of success for Yamaha with riders Loic Bardet, Cyril Carrillo and Johan Nigon bringing the Yamaha Viltaïs YZF-R1 home in second place in their class.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) were not so lucky and had to retire before the end. Rider Wayne Maxwell crashed out on the slippery track, breaking his leg in the process.
Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube Team
“It’s a great feeling to be back on the podium. I made a mistake and I feel bad about that. When I brought the bike back in a very bad state, the mechanics got it back in shape in just 12 minutes. That was really impressive.”
Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube team manager
“You could say that we were the survivors, but all the guys on this podium can be very proud of what they have achieved. The team worked really hard to keep the bike in fighting shape and it performed well. We deserved to be where we finished!”
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.