BOL D'OR CLASSIC

2018

FZ 1000 – Team N° 7 : SuperBolide

. Philippe Lebeau

. Marc Vincent

FZ 750 – Team N°4 : Moto Revue Classic Yamaha

. Christophe Gaime

. Zeff Enault

The SuperBolide team was born in 2018, while participating at the Bol d’Or Classic with two magnificent Yamaha FZ. Here is the story of this cool adventure.

Wednesday september 12

Our first hours at the Paul Ricard track was focused on the installation of the team’s camp and the official controls. No track session this wednesday, but we are ready for the first free practice tomorrow morning.

We had the good surprise of the visit of Roberto Rolfo, second in the 250cc World Championship 2003. His next goal is this vistory of the Bol d’Or in the Superstock category.

Thursday, September 13

Two free practices, the first qualifying session and a free practice at night were scheduled today. Learning of the Paul Ricard is not easy because the circuit is really fast and old pilots are as fast as they are experienced. Our 1986 bike was measured at 253 km/h in the Mistral straight.

For the N°7, no problem. Basically, we evolve in the last part of the classification, but we progress at each session. The FZ is not the bike for winning and we are « beginners », but the machine is very homogeneous. It’s really a very nice and pleasant bike.

However, the day was less cool for the FZ No. 4. During the first shakedown, Zeff Enault was hit by a Kawasaki pilot. Result: a shoulder dislocation and a damaged FZ on the right side. The team worked hard, allowing Christophe to ride 3 laps at the end of the qualifying session. Zeff will try to ride tonight. Warrior!

Friday September 14

Last night, I rode on track at night for the very first time. It’s just magic! The Paul Ricard circuit is so lighted that we could pilot without light. The sensations, especially in the straight line of the Mistral and in Signe bend, are extraordinary. The best pilots rode as fast as in the day.

Today, good new. Although wounded yesterday, Zef participated at the second qualifying session. The Yamaha FZ N°4 Moto Revue Classic will take part of the race. Now we are waiting tonight for the first round: start at 8:30 pm for 2 hours of race.

Friday evening . Race 1

Zef is still injured. That’s why Christophe will start the race of the FZ N°4, while Marc will start the race of the N°7.

The night is already on the track Paul Ricard during the warm-up lap of the 65 motorcycles. « Le Mans » start for 2 hours of race. Safety car intervention during the first laps. Then Marc rides to the 37th position, while Christophe is in the pits for an electrical problem that stops (too) long minutes in the box. Finally, the N°4 restarts. Marc returns to the pits after one hour for a complete refueling. Then I take the track. The light of the circuit is still magical. Gradually, I relax, optimize brakings and accelerations, I feel better and better. At the second hour, we are still 37th; I wonder if we have to race one or two laps more. At the last bend before the finish line, my engine cut, restart, cut… I’m not sure I’m in the last lap. I turn the bend on the speed. When I accelerate, the lack of gasoline is confirmed. And at this dramatic moment, I make the huge mistake of the week: I enter in the box to refuel one liter of gas! But it is really the final lap. The checkered flag is waiting for me 200 m away. I can’t go out of the pitlane anymore… and we are not ranked! Complicated to fall asleep after such a mistake…

Saturday morning . Race 2

Christophe is still the first pilot of the FZ N°4. Thanks to the last evening experience, we decide to make two refuelings. At 58, for the first time in my life, I will discover the reality of a type of  « Le Mans » start!

National flag: I run across the track, start the bike and get a clear track… for 200 m. Then it’s the traffic jam (very fast traffic jam…). I ride carefully to learn, heat the tires and avoid a possible contact with a rider who would fall in front of me. Then I get back into my rhythm… to make my second mistake of the week: I see black flags and enter in the pitlane… just to understand that the flags are for another rider. I reentry on the track, furious and deconcentrated, then I go to my rhythm again. At each lap, I progress in speed. Now, I am able to wait the bridge before the fabulous Signe bend to brake! After 45 minutes of race, I refuel. Just after Marc enter on the track, a race official comes to the box and annonces a Stop & Go of 30 seconds for excessive speed in the pit lane: 77 km/h instead of 60. Too fast on the Paul Ricard circuit, that’s almost funny…

Marc returns to the pits. After the Stop & Go, he restart and refuels again after 1H40 of race. I take the track for the last laps, who become pure happiness. Everything becomes fluid. This time, I see the checkered flag, which we also pass in 37th position.

For this last lap on the bike, in the beautiful light of the morning, I see at the edge of the track, all the race officials greeting us with their flags. The spectators do the same. All the pilots roll in slow motion and thank all those people. The emotion is at the max level and I would like that this lap does not end. It’s fantastic, certainly the best moment of a week rich in intensity!