28 April 2014 Third Bol d’Or victory in row for Team Kawasaki SRC

'Incredible' seems to be the correct word to explain the third victory of Team Kawasaki SRC at the famous Bol d’Or race at the Magny-Cours.
Things started to go in the wrong direction after the crash involving Matthieu Lagrive during free practice session. After sustaining a back injury, the Kawasaki SRC rider was close to retiring from the race on Thursday evening. However, Lagrive’s fighting spirit was stronger than the pain and he decided to take part despite a dorsal vertebra injury.
Weather conditions were also a nightmare during the race with light showers coming and going making tyre choice and suspension settings difficult..  Starting under wet conditions, the 78th running of the Bol d’Or saw Grégory Leblanc crash after only six laps.
Leblanc rejoined the race in a lowly 32nd position and Team Kawasaki SRC made an incredible comeback to the very front of the pack. Matthieu Lagrive did his best but was forced to retire after only two stints and leave Gregory Leblanc and Nicolas Slachaud to finish the race as a duo.
The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R machine running number 11 took the lead on Sunday morning after the factory Honda suffered engine failure and the factory Yamaha crashed out. With a five lap gap and three hours until the end of the race, the two Kawasaki riders achieved safe progress to the chequered flag.  
After the race Gilles Stafler (Team Manager) commented “To be honest it was quite difficult for me to imagine that we could win this race. I’m used to endurance racing but I can say that it is the most difficult one I have had to deal with.
I would like to thank all the team members and for sure my three riders. Matthieu did his best with his injury and Nicolas and Grégory did a fantastic job on the bike. I can’t forget Pirelli’s support which greatly helped us to claim this third victory in a row at the Bol d’Or.”
Race winner Grégory Leblanc commented “This is my third victory in a row at the Bol d’Or for Kawasaki. I cannot say if it is the most beautiful one, but for sure it’s the hardest one!  The race was very tricky due to weather conditions changing and with the earlier retirement of Matthieu, we did thirteen laps each with Nicolas. So I’m quite sore tonight but really delighted too.”
Rider Nicolas Salchaud mentioned “This is my second race for team Kawasaki SRC and my second win. So I guess I must say that is the perfect result!  I’m really happy for sure and I would like to thank all the team and mechanics.”
Matthieu Lagrive spoke about the race saying “After my crash during practice I knew that the race would be difficult for me. But I didn’t expect it would be so difficult. My first session was quite good under rainy conditions. It was not too painful, but at the end of the second one it was safer for me and the other riders on the track to retire.  I’m very pleased about this result and I would like to thank the whole team for a job well-done and the support they gave me.”