25 September 2013 Historic win for Team Kawasaki SRC at Le Mans 24 hour race

The French Kawasaki SRC Team has won the Le Mans 24 hour race for a magical fourth time in a row.
With this victory, Kawasaki becomes the most successful manufacturer ever with a total of 12 victories. In addition, Grégory Leblanc is now only the second rider to achieve four consecutive wins in the race.

During the race, the Kawasaki SRC Team had to face a lot of challenges. After a strong start, Grégory Leblanc returned to the pit box after his inaugural session in first place. Fabien Foret was looking to do the same when he was pushed off the track by a backmarker and crashed.

After a short stop in the pit, the French team was back on track on a strong chasing pace. Five laps behind the leader, Grégory Leblanc, Fabien Foret and Nicolas Salchaud started an amazing ascent to the top of the race.

Back in the lead early on Sunday morning, the Kawasaki SRC team has to create a race winning strategy. With a seven lap avantage, it was time to maintain this lead until the end of the race. For team and riders the last seven hours were the longest of their lives.

Gilles Stafler, the Team Manager said : « The feeling was so strange. We were not as cool as usual and I was lacking some confidence before the start of the race. The early hours were not easy with a lot of crashes and when Fabien was pushed off the track and crashed I though it will be a really tough race.

But my team and my riders made a very good job during the night chasing the leading bike. At the end we are back on the top spot of the podium and I can say I very proud of this result.

Kawasaki becomes the most successful motorcycle manufacter in Le Mans history and I’m really delighted for Grégory who is now the second rider in history to score four wins in a row. Fabien and Nicolas did a perfect job too and I can say with some confidence that we got what we deserved »

Grégory Leblanc said : « It’s a really strange feeling for me. I can’t understand what is happening. I think it will be easier soon but now I’m just happy for Kawasaki, the team and all my family and, for sure, the fans. »

Fabien Foret : « It’s my first victory here at Le Mans and I’m really delighted to share it with the Kawasaki SRC team. All the team worked so hard but the end of the race was so stressful. With this gap avantage we had to secure the result and ride with a calculated pace. Not too fast, not too slow it was not so easy. I can honestly say that my favourite part of the race was when we were chasing for the lead. »

Nicolas Salchaud added : « As with Fabien it’s my first victory here at Le Mans. So it’s a very important moment for me. I would like to thank all the Kawasaki SRC team who gave me this chance to share this moment with them. »

After winning the Bol d’Or earlier in April and now this awesome victory in Le Mans, team Kawasaki SRC now seek to add a last trophy to end its fabulous season .

Grégory Leblanc will have to score one point during the last two races of the French Superbike championship to clinch his first title in this class. If he does, Team Kawasaki SRC could get the same result as last year ; winning all the races or championships that it competed in.