Suzuki Endurance Racing Team have kept a 16th series victory alive after fighting back from two crashes during the Oschersleben 8 Hours Endurance penultimate fourth round in Germany on Sunday.
The 15-times EWC winners, with SERT riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black in the saddle of the GSX-R1000, clawed back to 10th at the flag during a tough race, and now head to the Suzuka 8-Hours finale in Japan next month just five points off the lead.
SERT started from third position after some promising qualifying results, with Black taking the lead from the start and keeping the GSX-R1000 at the front for six laps until sliding off fighting hard to keep the lead.
Fortunately, Black was uninjured, but the incident put SERT down in 30th position, but between the three riders, SERT had moved into the top-five at mid-race distance. But another slip-off needed a more-lengthy pitstop, putting SERT out of contention for the race win. But in true SERT fightback fashion from the Dominique Meliand-run team, all three riders dug deep to gain valuable championship points and keep Suzuki’s title hopes alive for the 2018-2019 EWC season.
In the Superstock final round, Junior Team Le Mans Sud took fifth overall, the Damien Saulnier-run team finishing ninth on the day after dominating much of the series, but also, like SERT, suffering with crashes.
Hour 1: SERT 7th / Junior Team LMS – 15th
Hour 2: SERT 5th / Junior Team LMS – 13th
Hour 3: SERT 5th/ Junior Team LMS – 27th
Hour 4: SERT 22nd / Junior Team LMS – 27th
Hour 5: SERT 17th / Junior Team LMS – 23rd
Hour 6: SERT 13th / Junior Team LMS – 19th
Hour 7: SERT 11th/ Junior Team LMS 18th
Hour 8: SERT 10th/ Junior Team LMS 17th