Le Castellet (France) (AFP)

The Suzuki of the Yoshimura-Sert-Motul team, started on pole, the Kawasaki of the Webike SRC France and the Yamaha of the YART race in the lead two hours after the start of the 84th Bol d'Or on Saturday, while the official Honda and BMW are already one lap behind on the Castellet circuit (Var).

After taking the start in the lead, the Suzuki N.1 and title holder had to scrap during the first laps against the assaults of the Honda of the TSR France team and the Kawasaki N.11, respectively 4th and 6th on the grid. .

The overtaking between the official machines lasted until their first stint, before a certain hierarchy was put in place with the SERT at the forefront followed by the Kawasaki at 17 seconds and the Yamaha at 25 seconds.

The BMW, qualified 3rd on the grid, experienced a technical problem which forced it to go through its garage again in the first laps, which made it tumble to 37th place before moving up to 7th, behind. 'a lap.

The French Kenny Foray replaces the injured Spaniard Javier Forès on the Bavarian motorcycle.

The Honda, author of a thunderous start, then also experienced mechanical problems which forced it to a prolonged stop, also pushing it back to one turn of the leading machines.

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.

With the French Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and the Belgian Xavier Simeon at his helm, the SERT, reigning world champion, winner of the Bol d'Or in 2019 (the 2020 edition had been canceled due to the pandemic), aims 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 motorcycle at Les Mans in June.

The pilots at the start of the 84th edition of the Bol d'or on September 18, 2021 on the Castellet circuit in the Var Nicolas TUCAT AFP

Among the 41 teams entered in this 2021 edition of the Bol d'Or there are many other aspirants to victory or to the podium such as the private Moto Ain (Yamaha) or the Tati Beringer Racing (Kawasaki) and Bolliger Switzerland ( Kawasaki) regularly at the forefront of endurance races.

Arrival is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m.

© 2021 AFP