Bol d'Or - 24 hrs race

Discussion in 'Racing & Bike Sport' started by Mattie660, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Mattie660

    Mattie660 Elite Member

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    Anyone been to this race ?
    Any tips ?

    I remember the new Fireblade did well at this race last year - so thought to make a point of going this time.

    Anyway, ticket booked for the Aire de Mistral - I hope that is not the section that burn scooters and tyres all night and rev engines to destruction :D

    Should be a laugh

    BOL-D-OR-2018_3796123977270338821.jpg
     
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  2. ColinBR

    ColinBR God Like

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    Would love to go. I actually prefer the endurance racing to any other.

    Something about the engineering involved and the knowing that anything could happen at any point in the race keeps me gripped.
     
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  3. Mattie660

    Mattie660 Elite Member

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    I like that it does not necessarily end for a team if they have something go wrong - they maybe can get the bike fixed and get back in the race again.

    The bikes look good as well.

    Not sure where you live - it will take me a couple of days to get there on my bike.
     
  4. ColinBR

    ColinBR God Like

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    Central Scotland mate. A fair trek away.

    I’d just stick my bike in the van and unload it down south somewhere
     
  5. Jimbo Vills

    Jimbo Vills God Like

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    Yeah like my fecking drive ;)
     
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  6. ColinBR

    ColinBR God Like

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    Cheers mate. Thanks for offer.

    Least this time we won’t have the old bloke accross the road out stairing at us this time haha
     
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  7. Kevin1

    Kevin1 Elite Member

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    I've ridden to the Bol D'or a couple of times in the 80's. Best race ever.
    Not just for the hideous all night racing, but the side shows too.
    It's a long way mind
     
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  8. Mattie660

    Mattie660 Elite Member

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    Wow, must have been quite a trip. What bike(s) did you ride ?

    Honestly, after pootling around this little island - spending a couple of days blasting across France is like some kind of heaven !

    Looking forward to it.
     
  9. Kevin1

    Kevin1 Elite Member

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    Suzuki GSX1100ET
    Great trip.
    Although I always remember one trip home, the worst rain I had ever ridden in, had to stop at the French motorway services in the end.
     
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  10. BikersDiscountStore

    BikersDiscountStore Active Member

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    Did my 1st Bol in 87 & last in 98, I lost interest when it moved to Magny Cours. The ride there & back is epic if you choose the right roads such as the Route Napoleon.
    Northern France is dull & flat so use the Peage to get south then cut across into the Alps asap. Take a few days extra & stay on the south coast after the race.
    I don't know if they still allow camping behind the Mistral straight that was nicknamed Blackpool but if they do it's a night to remember!

    It was common practice in the 80s on the Monday after the race for someone to break down the fence & get bikes on the track for an impromptu track day, last time I stayed around for it was late 80s but by then they would charge 10 or 20 Francs & allow you on track officially, Elf & Safety didn't exist then! I ragged my GPZ900 round until it started spluttering out of fuel and ended up being pushed down to Le Beausset by a Frenchy on a dirt bike with his boot on my exhaust!

    The road from Paul Ricard to Le Beausset is where Frank Williams crashed & broke his back, it's a gem of a road but has some very steep drops off the side so be careful.
    Enjoy.
     
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  11. Mattie660

    Mattie660 Elite Member

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    Fantastic !

    The stuff of legend. Really looking forward to it.
     
  12. Mattie660

    Mattie660 Elite Member

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    Well, it has finally arrived the Bol d'Or 24-hour race is this weekend. Head off tomorrow, arrive in France late but still plenty of time to get there for the whole weekend rather than just turn up for the main race. They might have a bit of a Disco on as well :D

    It looks like the only British team will be the Honda Endurance Racing team on the No. 111 Fireblade - I wish them all the best and will be cheering them on for the win.

    https://www.hondaproracing.com/ewc/honda-endurance-racing-revved-up-for-the-2018-bol-dor/

    Best of luck to them.
     
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  13. Blade048

    Blade048 Active Member

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    Enjoy the trip Mattie. I fancy doing this myself at some point. Always enjoy watching the endurance racing when it’s on Eurosport. Let us know how you got on.
     
  14. nigelrb

    nigelrb Elite Member

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    Yeah, enjoy Mattie.

    We have limited 'live' on Eurosport this year; 9.30 pm Saturday, followed by 6.00 am Sunday. Clashes with Superbikes so it will be a full-on TV weekend - some of which will be recorded.
     
  15. Kevin1

    Kevin1 Elite Member

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    Have a guddun Mattie. Drink in that atmosphere, it's unique.
     
  16. Mattie660

    Mattie660 Elite Member

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    So that was the 2018 - Bol d'Or !

    What can I say.

    Not really that well up on who's who at the Endurance Racing lark, so had to have a look at the team lists, and the F.C.C. TSR Honda France had the No. 1 plate on their 2016 Fireblade SP. It seems they were favourite to win, however I was rooting for the only British team - Honda Endurance Racing - with the No. 111 plate on the new Fireblade SP in Honda racing colours.

    There is a lot going on, that starts even before the weekend - classic bikes on show and other races and qualifying for the main race that started on the Saturday afternoon at 3.00 pm

    It was hot and sunny, in the low 30's Centigrade. Great fun to arrive on a bike along with thousands of others. Traffic was ok, and certainly nothing like the traffic jams experienced at some of the MotoGP events. Rode to the gate, took maybe 10 minutes of ticket checking ahead of me, and then through to the large bike parks that I am sure you have seen at other race events. They said the attendance was about 69,000.

    Once in I noticed that all the picnic tables and benches, that were in the shade, were mostly taken - too hot to sit in the sun. Took a cable lock to lock my leather jacket and lid to the bike, so at least did not have to carry all that around. Lots of T-shirts and Motorcycle gear on sale, plus a good selection of the motorcycle manufacturers had stalls with good selection of bikes to sit on, including this rather nice Fireblade in the French Honda racing colours (one off paint job)

    This is what was going on at the Honda stand:

    FCC Fireblade.png

    Half his trousers missing and no shirt - who gives a ....!!!

    Africa Twin.jpg

    And now the racing.

    Headed for the action at the start line about 30 minutes before the start, and obviously everyone else had already sorted themselves out with the best viewing spots. But people were climbing through the bushes to stand on a concrete ledge that runs along the back of the seating - so managed to squeeze a spot - luckily almost right opposite the grid position of the Honda Endurance Racing team - lucky with that !!

    Run.jpg
    And they are off..

    And they are off.jpg
    After watching a few laps it became impossible to follow the race order by the order in which the bikes come past. - after a while it only makes sense by watching the Live Timing as you cannot make sense of it by the order of who comes past. I stayed until about 8.30 pm and "The Ace of Spades" being played !

    Followed the racing on the live timing - Honda Racing were doing well, up to first place, with the FCC Racing falling back to 15th place - all looking good for the British Honda Endurance Racing team up until turning in at about 12.30 am.

    It all went wrong for them at about 1.00 am. I spoke to one of the team (a Dutchman) outside Honda Endurance Racing team's hospitality suite - asked what went wrong. It seems the motor broke a cylinder head bolt, part of which fell in to the crank case - so they had to take the motor apart including the crank shaft in order to retrieve the bits that had fallen inside.

    When they eventually put the motor back together and got it running they found that the bike was loosing power probably because the cylinder head had been damaged as a result being run whilst the cylinder head bolt being broken - and was not able to be sealed properly and so was losing power. I saw that bit on the timing screens, and when they signal "PIT IN" you are in suspense until you see "PIT OUT" again. In the end they pulled out - game over.

    I have never really followed races by watching the timing screens, as they are only of passing interest to a spectator during a 40 minute MotoGP race. But this was the only way to make sense of what was going on - to see a team fall back 15 places with some mechanical issue, and then to slowly move back through the places again - enjoyed that.

    Other stuff.
    Some great bike riding country round there, fantastic twisty roads through quite rugged scenery. Lots of Gendarmes on the roads around the event - I was pulled over and they wanted to see my papers for the bike - copy of the Registration that I keep with all the other travel documents. All OK but still a bit unnerving to be pulled over by Police on bikes !

    Almost forgot, and on a Fireblade forum as well - the bike that won was the No. 1 F.C.C. team on a Honda Fireblade, albeit a 2016 SP model.

    At the end of the day - the 2018 Bol d'Or 24-Hour race was still won by a Honda Fireblade.;)
     
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  17. Spygoat

    Spygoat Well-Known Member

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    Just like mine! hehehe..excellent write up mate, glad you had fun!
     
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  18. Mattie660

    Mattie660 Elite Member

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    Sorry to add another picture !

    Not being particularly vain, do not have many pictures of me !

    But this was taken on the roads round The Bol d'Or. An outfit called "photoventuox" take pictures of all the passing bikes over the weekend and put them on a website, ordered by date and time. They have a sign with their web address and you have a look online and order a picture and download it !

    It's Me ! (pair of Doc Martens, shades and a leather :D)
    Its Me resize 1.jpg
     
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  19. hitch

    hitch Elite Member

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    Thanks for this Mattie...great write up.
    Looks like you had a blast - figuratively and literally!.
     

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