SRC on the podium
After being roughed up in Slovakia, the Kawasaki SRC team reassured themselves in Germany by making it to the podium of the Eight Hours of Oschersleben. A second place won after an all-out battle in the last hour of the race.
As the penultimate event of the 2017/2018 World Endurance Championship, the Eight Hours of Oschersleben once again gave rise to a fierce battle between the regular riders in this sport, including Randy de Puniet, Mathieu Gines, Jeremy Guarnoni and the Kawasaki ZXR of the SRC team. On the starting grid, however, the trio of Gilles Stafler contented themselves with sixth place. «We weren’t looking to clock up a good time during the practice test sessions», explained Randy de Puniet on the night of qualifying session. «We preferred to save our tires and be able to change the front tire at each relay. This circuit is very demanding and with the heat, the riders and the bikes are going to suffer.» With seven teams less than half a second apart, the fight for victory could only be intense. « Unfortunately, we had a hard time keeping in touch with the Honda #5 and the Yamaha #94,» said Gilles Stafler. «Our problem is that our electronic management is not as well tuned as our opponents. Our bike is more brutal and we have more trouble managing its consumption.» And on a circuit as physical as Oschersleben, that is paid cash. «But we didn’t give up», said Randy de Puniet. «We always stayed in touch and we were able to fight to the finish.» And that’s how the former MotoGP rider took second place in the last lap of the race, hunting Mike Di Meglio until he fell. «This second place is unexpected», concluded the Kawasaki SRC team manager.