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18th September 2023


Yoshimura SERT Motul won the final round of the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship in convincing style at the Bol d’Or on Sunday the 17th of September. The victory raised the team’s final championship standing to second overall.


After a season marked by bad luck, Yoshimura SERT Motul were keen to end the race year on a high and conclude the Bol d'Or with a convincing result to reflect their true competitiveness.


This unwavering determination was shown throughout the qualifying sessions when the #12 Suzuki GSX-R1000R ridden by the French trio of Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and Etienne Masson set the second fastest time.

Motorcycles racing on track

The race got underway at 3pm CET on Saturday 16th September on a track made tricky by a rain shower that had fallen shortly before the start. Despite the precarious track conditions, Gregg Black once again was out front, completing the first few laps in the lead. 


As the hours passed, an intense battle began between the main rivals with the three leading machines swapping positions at every refuelling point.


Although the track was drying, the wind made conditions very tricky on the challenging Paul Ricard circuit. As the night wore on, none of the leading machines managed to gain a decisive lead. Despite a minor slip-up by Black early in the evening, the GSX-R1000R kept its chances alive and kept up the pressure on its rivals.

Suzuki motorbike racing at night

In the hands of Black, Guintoli and Masson, the Suzuki was a consistent and reliable performer both on the track and when refuelling. The team led at both important points scoring eight and 16-hour marks, pocketing an additional 20 bonus points in the process.


Remarkably efficient since the start of the event, the Yoshimura SERT Motul Suzuki managed to open a significant gap at daybreak. However, in endurance racing, nothing is ever decided before the chequered flag falls. This 86th edition of the Bol d'Or was to demonstrate this with three and a half hours to go, when an oil slick caused the simultaneous crash of eight bikes, including the one ridden by Black. Remarkably, the damage to the Suzuki was minimal. The Franco-British rider returned to the pits without wasting any time and retained command of the race.


During the night, Guintoli was struck by stomach pains that prevented him from doing his stints. From early morning onwards, Black and Masson had to continue as a two-rider outfit – they both rode quickly and smoothly.


Despite several setbacks, Yoshimura SERT Motul crossed the finish line as the undisputed winner, seven laps ahead of its closest rival. The team won thanks to the unfailing determination of its riders and its domination on the track and in the pits. This crucial victory enabled them to snatch second place in the final championship standings.

Suzuki motorcycle racing at dawn

Now the pressure is easing off, I'm very happy with this result. We led for most of the race. We were really worried that something might happen to us again, it was very stressful. But we have an excellent team. We've finally achieved a good result this season. I want to thank all the members of the SERT team, YOSHIMURA and all the people who support us. Suzuki is still winning in competition, here in the Endurance World Championship , and we will continue to fight.

- Yohei KATO – Team Director

It's been an incredible race with lots of twists and turns, especially for me. I started on a wet track, crashed at the beginning of the night, had to do double stints and then crashed again this morning where there was a big risk of being hit. In short, this race really hasn't been easy, but it ends with a victory which is all the more satisfying. I'd like to congratulate my team-mates and the whole technical team, who did a fantastic job.

- Gregg BLACK - Rider

Of course, I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to help my team-mates all the way to the end, because I know that 24-hour races are particularly demanding. I gave everything I could during the first six stints but physically, it was too complicated for me to go any further. Gregg and Etienne did a great job to take the bike to victory. It's a good way to end the season and for me to turn the page on this great adventure with the team.

- Sylvain GUINTOLI - Rider

I'd like to congratulate Sylvain because he held his role for as long as possible despite his stomach pains. Obviously, it became more complicated to continue with just Gregg and I, but we were physically prepared. I also know that I'm in the most tenacious team on the field. They never give up until the finish. Gregg and I had to do the same. Bringing home a victory feels really good, it rewards the efforts of the whole team.

- Etienne MASSON - Rider