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22nd April 2024

Yoshimura SERT wins the Le Mans 24-Hours

The Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) has won the prestigious Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race and the opening round of the 2024 Endurance World Championship.


Fast-starter Gregg Black grabbed the holeshot and set the pace at the front, from the off, before teammates Etienne Mason - returning to the SERT fold this year - and Dan Linfoot - making his debut with the team - maintained the lead.


However, it wouldn't be plain sailing to the chequered flag, when an electrical issue after a pit stop disengaged the traction control system, resulting in a crash for Black.

Six minutes in the pits and the GSX-R was back on track, only to be dealt a ride through penalty for Black remounting when his bike was facing the wrong way.


However, after dropping to 18th, the team had climbed back up to fourth by the eight hour mark, and picked up seven championship points. By hour 16, they were back in the lead and collected an additional 10 points.


From there the team led to the chequered flag, took its 15th Le Mans 24-Hour win, and with it Suzuki became the most successful team in Le Mans history.

Gregg Black said, "It was a great race. We battled hard at the start with YART on a very good pace. Then we had a little traction control problem which caused me to crash.


"A second race began for us with the aim of giving everything we had to try and grab a podium finish. In the end, our rivals also had their share of problems and we managed to set some great times without making any mistakes.


"After finishing 2023 with a win at the Bol d'Or, we're really on a good momentum. We have a very good package with a high-performing bike and Bridgestone tires that are working well."


Debutant Dan Linfoot reflected, "This is an exceptional day for me. I'd like to thank my teammates and all the staff for the great job they've done. I took part in this race last year, but that was in the Superstock category. To race this year with this team, at this level and with this package is incredible.


"Obviously, I still have things to learn in endurance racing but I'm now looking forward to the next race at Spa which, while it’s been a few years since I raced there, is my favourite circuit. I was able to gain confidence in EWC racing, thanks to this fantastic race."

Etienne Masson added, "My first win at Le Mans was in 2015, in my first season with the SERT. So, to win again nine years later is an immense pleasure. And this victory is so special because we had a difficult start to the race. But, we were able to focus right away.


"The team worked really well on the bike and, on the riders' side, we attacked all night to close the gap on the leaders. In the end, our efforts paid off. It feels really good to start 2024 with such a brilliant win."


The second round of the 2024 EWC season is the 8-Hours of Spa Francorchamps on 6-8 June.