Endurance

Le Mans Nightmare For Kawasaki SRC

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As four time former winners, luck was not with the Kawasaki Motors France supported team at the 2014 Le Mans 24 hour, despite a fantastic pole position.

As four time former winners, luck was not with the Kawasaki Motors France supported team despite a fantastic pole position and a perfect start of the race. Unfortunately, things started to turn bad as dusk made way to night.

Leading the race since the end of the first hour, Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Foret were forced to change their tactics after Fabien had a small crash just before 11.00 pm.

The Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja spent 10 minutes in the garage before re-joining the race dropping to 16th position.

But fate dealt a further blow to the Kawasaki SRC squad. Back in tenth position in the standings just before mid-race, Matthieu Lagrive crashed at the Esses Bleus corner and had to stop once again to repair the number eleven machine. After another ten minute pit stop, the lime green bike was back on track returning to the fight.

But on Sunday early morning, Matthieu Lagrive was back again in the SRC garage forced to stop due to a quick change rear wheel system failure. That was just too much for Gilles Stafler the team manager, who decided to retire from a race where his bike didn‰Ûªt have a realistic chance of a podium finish.

‰ÛÏFor sure it ‰Û÷s a big frustration but that‰Ûªs the way it goes in Endurance." Stafler explained. "Each race is different from the previous one.

"I decided to stop the bike because we were too far behind our third stop to expect a podium place. I‰Ûªm really sorry for Kawasaki and all my staff. We made a perfect job during practice and the first part of the race but in Endurance you can never know what you could expect from the race.

"We will be back and stronger in April and for sure get the victory that we deserved."

Top Image: Le Mans Nightmare For Kawasaki SRC

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