The team managed by Gilles Stafler has taken the lead in the Endurance World Championship thanks to a superb and deserved second place at Oschersleben two full laps ahead of their closest pursuer.
As the flag dropped on Sunday 9 June, 39 bikes started the second eight-hour race of the EWC season. As the sun shone at Oschersleben all the ingredients were gathered together for an heroic battle.
For the first hour of race Jérémy Guarnoni was the first of the SRC Team riders to take to the track. Emerging with authority within the pack at the front of the race, he managed to overcome the on-track issues whereas many competitors fell in this initial session. On a physically demanding track comprising a 3.6 km technical layout with short straights and many curves allowing not a moments rest, « The Toulousain » was fast and reliable along with team-mate, Erwan Nigon.
At 17-00 mid-race had been approached and passed. The Number 11 Kawasaki Ninja ZX10-RR held its place ready to ambush for a victory but in a position that kept pressure off the riders. In fact the green team constantly occupied the upper track positions and was always among the front runners across the entire race.
The end of the race was gladatorial with many twists of fate which is part of the beauty of endurance racing. Team SRC Kawasaki France and the Ninja ZX10-RR was at the epicentre of this turbulence including, at 7:40pm, when an engine failure from a competitor poured oil on the track just in front of #11. Jérémy Guarnoni, then on the track, narrowly avoided a possible race ending crash taking #11 from third to the second position; the place that Team SRC Kawasaki France would occupy until the end of the race.
Gilles Stafler, Team Manager:
“It was a great event for us with a big challenge imposed by our rivals during the first few hours, but the job was done as my whole team was focused on this race ; the immediate goal being to fill the gap in the overall series ranking. It is clear that our riders have beautifully ridden and allowed us to take the lead of the World Championship when we were previously 10 points adrift.
Also we are delighted by the performance of our Kawasaki Ninja ZX10-RR which has once again demonstrated its reliability. Finally, David Checa has to be congratulated, as we don’t forget that thanks to his participation we achieved the pole and the 5 additional points.
We did not make him ride for reasons of fuel levels. It would have forced us to stop once more in the pits to add a third rider and compromise our final ambitions. I am sorry but it was essential for all of us and the success of the team.”