Fifth Place Finish
Winners of the 24 Hours Motorcycles when the Endurance World Championship opened, the Kawasaki SRC Team didn’t end the 2016 season as well as hoped: Gilles Stafler’s team had to settle for fifth place overall.
Everything started off well for the Kawasaki SRC team and the ZX-10RR of the trio formed by Grégory Leblanc, Matthew Lagrive and Fabien Foret. In April, Gilles Stafler’s team outclassed their opponents on the Le Mans circuit. With the bonus included in the win, the #11 left the 24 Hours Motorcycles having chalked up sixty points, with good reason to hope for a world title later in the season. Unfortunately, the last race of the championship held in Germany on the Oschersleben circuit was no more successful for Gilles Stafler’s crew than the previous two.
In Portugal in June, the Kawasaki SRC team was forced to retire due to a mechanical problem caused by an overheating engine. In Japan, a month later, it was a rear axle that forced the Greens to give up. In Germany last weekend, it was a piston rod that destroyed Grégory Leblanc’s last hopes just as he began his first stint. Although fifth on the starting grid, the #11 Kawasaki didn’t make it to the finish of the last race of the season. As a result, the Kawasaki SRC team had to settle for fifth place in a championship finally won by the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) managed by Dominique Méliand.
Fortunately Gilles Stafler’s team will not have to wait long to turn the page, since the first race of the 2016/2017 season, the Bol d’Or, will be held on September 17 and 18 next on the Paul Ricard circuit.