Le Castellet (France) (AFP)

The Suzuki of the Yoshimura-Sert-Motul team, started on pole, continued its ride at the head of the Bol d'Or in front of the YART Yamaha, one lap, Saturday at 22:00, seven hours after the start on the Castellet circuit. .

Behind the two state-of-the-art machines, things got complicated for the two Kawasaki at the top of the classification: the No. 4 of the private team Team Béringer Racing crashed around 9.45 p.m. with the Frenchman Alan Techer on the handlebars, without gravity for the driver. who was able to take the motorcycle back to its stand.

A few minutes later, the N.11 of the Walraven-Nigon-Checa crew (Webike SRC France), which has a time figured on the provisional podium, had to stop at its pit due to a mechanical problem and abandoned.

The misfortunes of the green motorcycles allow the Ducati of the ERC Endurance team to take virtual 3rd place, two laps behind the Suzuki N.1.

The official BMW, qualified in 3rd position but relegated to the bottom of the standings from the first laps due to a technical problem, also took advantage of the Kawasaki's difficulties before being hit in turn by a mechanical problem.

She had to go back through the pits pushed by her Ukrainian driver Ilya Mykhalchyk.

On the other hand, the official Honda, which scrapped in the lead with the SERT just after the start, could not catch up after the two falls of its Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi and was in 8th position.

The pilots continue their race as night falls on the Castellet circuit in the Var during the 84th edition of the Bol d'Or on Saturday September 18, 2021 Nicolas TUCAT AFP

The famous 24 hour endurance race, the oldest in the world, started at 3 p.m. in front of thousands of spectators and under barely hazy skies.

But the weather forecast announces possible showers in the Var department overnight.

With the French Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and the Belgian Xavier Simeon at its handlebars, the Yoshimura-Sert-Motul team, reigning world champion and winner of the Bol d'Or in 2019 (the 2020 edition was canceled due to pandemic), aims for a new success.

The team led by Damien Saulnier since the departure of Dominique Méliand, however, is only 4th at the halfway point of the endurance world championship despite its success at the 24 Hours of Motorcycle at Le Mans in June.

The arrival of the Bol d'Or is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m.

© 2021 AFP