WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP GETS UNDERWAY WITH THE 77TH BOL D’OR 24HR RACE

The Honda TT Legend placed sixth in 2012

The Honda TT Legend placed sixth in 2012

The 2013 World Endurance Championship gets underway this weekend with the 77th Bol d’Or 24-hour race at Magny Cours in France. The Honda TT Legends team attends the iconic event with its new four-strong rider line-up of John McGuinness, Simon Andrews, Michael Rutter and Michael Dunlop.

McGuinness is no stranger to the Bol d’Or having taken part with the Honda TT Legends for the past two years and Andrews tackled the race in 2012 when the team placed sixth. Both Rutter and Dunlop are new to endurance racing, but will be looking to impress on their first outing with the Honda TT Legends. All four riders will take part in qualifying today and Friday before three are selected to race on Saturday.

With some significant updates to the CBR1000RR Fireblade race machine, including a new electronics system, the team is well prepared and ready to take on one of the world’s toughest motorcycle races. The Bol d’Or begins at 15.00 CEST on Saturday 20 April.

The Honda TT Legend placed sixth in 2012

The Honda TT Legend placed sixth in 2012 John McGuinness

I’m feeling good. It’s our third year here at the 24-hour race and I’m looking forward to it, I’m excited. We finished fifth the first year and sixth last year, so this year I’d love to get on the podium. I think we deserve it! We’ve got some new electronics on the bike and a few different people in the team – some really strong and experienced riders – so it’s all good. After a long, cold winter in the UK it’s nice to be here, whizzing round on the bike in the sunshine. We’ll just see what the weekend brings and hopefully we can bring the bike home safe, standing on the steps.

Simon Andrews

I can’t believe it’s a year since we were here last. Things have changed – we’ve got new electronics, a few changes in the team, a couple of new riders. It’s good to have Rutter and Dunlop on board and have a couple of new minds working on the project. I’m a lot fitter than I was this time last year and I know what to expect this time, so that will all help. We had our first run on the bike yesterday in good weather, and so far, so good. We’re all happy.

Michael Rutter

I was feeling quite good until I spoke to everyone else and they told me what to expect! It’s daunting to know that you’ve got to do 24 hours, especially through the night as I’ve never been out in the dark before. It’s all completely new but to be honest yesterday’s free practice was really good, the bike went well and we’ve got time to get a few more laps in before the race.

Michael Dunlop

It’s obviously my first time at an endurance race and it’s Rutter’s first time too so we’re trying to get as much track time in as possible before the race. It’s all looking good so far and we’ll get the qualifying done and see who’s going to be racing, that’s the main thing. It will be interesting to see who ends up in the line-up. I’d love to race, it’d be great to have a 24-hour race on the CV but we’ll see what happens. 

 

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Bol d’Or practice and race schedule

Thursday 18 April

11.30 – 12.30            Free practice

17.10 – 19.00            Qualifying 1 (30 minutes per rider)

21.00 – 22.00            Night practice

Friday 19 April

12.20 – 14.10            Qualifying 2 (30 minutes per rider)

18.50 – 21.00            Pit walk

Saturday 20 April

10.30 – 11.15            Warm up

12.35 – 14.15            Pit walk

15.00                           Race begins

Sunday 21 April

15.00                           Race ends

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