The BMW Motorrad France 99 won the 8 Hours of Albacete and took their first victory in the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship. Sébastien Gimbert and Erwan Nigon won on the S1000RR with a 30 seconds gap from the Yamaha Racing France GMT 94 Ipone of David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive, and one lap from the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team of Vincent Philippe, Freddy Foray and Daisaku Sakai.
This unprecedented podium is also Michelin’s revenge over the SERT partner Dunlop, as the French tyres were fitted on the first two machines for the 8 Hours of Albacete. If the BMW Motorrad France 99 and the Yamaha Racing France GMT 94 Ipone enjoyed some trouble-free races, the SERT lost a bit of ground as they had to obey a stop & go penalty for not having switched off the bike’s lights during a pit stop. The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team remains the championship leader, with a two points advantage over the BMW Motorrad France 99.
The fourth place was promised to the team Honda TT Legends, who were racing with the leaders from the beginning of the race. But John McGuinness crash around 1 am was fatal for the British Honda. Honda TT Legends gave up their fourth place to another great contender of the race, Monster Yamaha YART, who also could have been on the podium spot if they had not been delayed by a fuel issue in the middle of the race.
The Yamaha of Maco Racing Team managed to kill the black cat at last! Jason Pridmore, Gregg Black and Grégory Junod took the fifth place ahead of the Yamaha YMES Folch Endurance of Dani Ribalta, Pedro Vallcaneras and Jose Manuel Luis Rita. The Honda National Motos was in the surroundings 25 minutes away from the chequered flag, but a technical problem made them lose any benefit from a great race.
BMW took victory in the Superstock class as well. The BMW Van Zon Boenig Motorsportschool Penz13 RT of Werner Daemen, Grégory Fastré and Michael Filla finished seventh overall and first in their class, ahead of a close group of Superstock machines. These included the Suzuki of Team Motor Events Bodyguard AMT, No Limits Motor Team, MCS Racing Ipone, team Atomic MotorSport and AM Moto Racing Compétition, who was leading the class for a while before being delayed with a faulty gearshift.
In both classes, two challengers were quick to retire from the race. In Formula EWC, the Kawasaki of Bolliger Team Switzerland had to give up with a broken gearbox, after their chassis setup problems had been solved. In the Superstock class, the Suzuki of Qatar Endurance Racing Team suffered a broken engine. The team DG Sport, another contender to a Superstock podium, and in fourth place until 11 pm, had to retire after Olivier Depoorter crashed.
Next round of the Qtel FIM World Endurance Championship is scheduled on 31st July for the 8 Hours of Suzuka reserved to the EWC Formula machines. Then there will be on Saturday 20th August, in Great Britain, the 6 Hours of Silverstone.