Team Suzuki Press Office – September 18.

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team put on a masterful display of consistency, control and machine reliability to win the opening round of the new 2016-2017 Endurance World Championship, the 80th Anniversary Bol d’Or 24-Hour Race, at Paul Ricard Circuit in France by nine laps.

SERT riders Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle crossed the finish line with their GSX-R1000 Suzuki this afternoon with a total of 687 laps completed from runners-up SRC Kawasaki in a gruelling and challenging event.

The team led all but four of the race-laps (the other two by SRC Kawasaki and also Penz BMW early on Saturday afternoon), pushing hard from the start to build its lead before then controlling the race from the front, calculating exactly when the 26 pit-stops were needed – and in which they pitted the fastest (41.092 minutes spent in total) – before slightly backing-off the pace in the second half of the race.

It was a masterpiece of skill and strategy from Dominique Meliand’s 15-time World Champions and showcased the reliability and durability of the team’s GSX-R1000 Suzuki that performed faultlessly throughout.

From the start, and under ideal 22° air/ 30° track temperatures, Masson sprinted into a top-four position in the opening corners, but it was Team April Moto Motors Events Suzuki rider Greg Black who took an early lead from 10th position on the grid.