Leading the way until two-and-a-half hours from the finish, the SRC Kawasaki team finally passed the finish line of the 82nd Bol d’Or in seventh position. A huge disappointment for Gilles Stafler’s men.
Last year, on the Castellet circuit, the Kawasaki #11 threw in the towel before the end of the first hour of the race. Randy de Puniet had been forced to retire during his first relay, while he was largely in the lead. This year,the Kawasaki SRC team were stalemated once again. Everything had started well for Gilles Stafler’s men. Taking the lead after setting a new track record of 1’54″007 during the practice test sessions, Randy de Puniet and Jérémy Guarnoni and David Checa, Kawasaki’s new rookie for the 2018/2019 season, were in good shape. Despite a small fuel outage of no consequence after three hours of racing, a change of saddle at the beginning of the night for a lighting problem, and a puncture a few hours later, Gilles Stafler’s team thought they were on the road to victory, being three laps ahead of the Honda FCC. Motorbike mechanics unfortunately decided otherwise. “I had a first warning before passing the handlebars to Jeremy,” said Randy de Puniet. “The shifter was not working properly and I was having trouble shifting gears.” Guarnoni had to go to the pits several times to allow the mechanics to identify the fault and to change the parts in question. In the end, the Kawasaki passed under the checkered flag of the 82nd Bol d’Or in seventh position, eleven laps behind the winner.