The BMW Motorrad team ran a flawless race to seize the first ever world championship win for the S1000RR machine in Albacete, Spain.
The BMW S1000RR claimed its first-ever FIM World Endurance win, claiming victory in the 8 Hours Albacete race. The BMW Motorrad France 99 team of Sebastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon and Hugo Marchand crossed the finish line more than 30 seconds ahead of Yamaha France GMT, and moved the team up to second in the overall championship standings. The win came as the team campaigns its first complete season in the FIM World Endurance Championship.
“We were expecting a good result in Albacete, but the victory exceeds all expectations,” said Team Principal Volker Scheck. “The bike was flawless throughout the entire race. I am delighted that we were able to present BMW Motorrad with the first World Championship win for the BMW S1000RR. It is nice to give something back after all the invaluable support.”
David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive of Yamaha France snared their first podium of the season in second. Starting from fourth on the grid, the team put in a strong ride against BMW Motorrad and the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team as they battled throughout most of the competition. As a result of the team’s efforts, Yamaha France advance from eighth in the standings all the way up to third.
“Right from the start of the race, our bike always appeared in the top-three in the standings,” said Yamaha France team manager Christophe Guyot. “At the end of each hour, we were even in the lead position as we were the last of the leading teams to pit in, thanks to a lower fuel consumption compared to our competitors. At the end of the race, our bike had spent a total of 3’46” in pit stops after eight hours of racing, making us the fastest team in the pit lane. The GMT 94 mechanics reached a new level of efficiency and competitiveness in pit stop operations.”
Yamaha France earned its first podium finish of the season in second after starting from fourth on the grid.
The fortunes of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team could have been much different if it weren’t for the Stop-Go penalty the squad incurred in the opening half of the race. Riders Vincent Philippe, Freddy Foray and Daisaku Sakai were punished for not turning off their lights during a routine pit stop, which enabled the two frontrunners to gain distance.
Despite SERT’s third-place result in Albacete, the team still maintains a two-point advantage heading into Round 3 of the seven-round series.
Honda TT Legends was targeted to finish the event in fourth less than an hour away from the finish line, but disaster struck in the final leg. John McGuinness lost the back end of his CB1000RR, and the resulting damages from the crash proved too much for the team to fix. Having been forced to retire from the race the team was obviously disappointed with its result, but they remained hopeful after leading the cumulative pit stop time challenege.
“We’re disappointed but that’s endurance racing,” said TT Legends Steve Plater. “We were setting a good pace and holding fourth position with one hour to go when John had an unfortunate crash. This year is a big learning curve for the team and we’ve learned a huge amount again this meeting. We are more competitive than we were at the Bol d’Or which we’re happy about and we aim to move forward at Suzuka.”
The next event on the World Endurance racing schedule will take place at Suzuka, Japan on July 31.
2011 8 Hours Albacete Results:
1. BMW Motorrad France 99: Sebastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon, Hugo Marchand (BMW)
2. Yamaha France GMT: David Checa, Kenny Foray, Matthieu Lagrive (Yamaha)
3. SERT: Vincent Phillipe, Freddy Foray, Sakai Daisaku (Suzuki)
4. Monster Yamaha – YART: Igor Jerman, Steve Martin, Gwen Giabbani (Yamaha)
5. Maco Racing Team: Jason Pridmore, Gregory Junod, Gregg Black (Yamaha)
6. YMES Folch Endurance: Daniel Ribalta, Luis Pedro Vallcaneras, Manu Jose Luis (Yamaha)
7. Team R2CL: Raphael Chausse, Camille Hedelin, David Briere (Suzuki)
8. Motobox Kremer by Shell: Franck Agaziello, Martin Scherrer, Timo Paavilainen (Suzuki)
9. National Motos: Emeric Jonchiere, Lucas de Carolis, Etienne Masson (Honda)
10. Team FMA Assurances: Freddy Boulange, Mickael Morin, David Dumain (Honda)
The Suzuki Enduance Racing Team had a Stop-Go penalty that cost them precious time.
2011 FIM Endurance World Championship Points:
1. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT), 54
2. BMW Motorrad France 99, 52
3. Yamaha Racing France GMT, 35
4. Team SRC Kawasaki, 28
5. YMES Folch Endurance, 25
6. National Motos, 22
7. Bolliger Team Switzerland, 18
8. Team R2CL, 17
9. Monster Yamaha (YART), 16
10. Honda TT Legends, 15