September 18th, 2023.

The 2023 FIM EWC finished with a championship decider packed with drama, close racing and on-track battles in both the Formula EWC class and Dunlop Superstock Trophy category.

In the fiercely competitive Superstock class, for which Dunlop is the exclusive tire supplier, Chromeburner RAC41 Honda emerged as the 2023 Dunlop Superstock Champion and FIM Superstock World Cup winner. The experienced team of Chris Leesch, Wayne Tessels and Jonathan Hardt finished second at the Bol d’Or behind the Team 33 Louit April Moto, who took the lead in the final 30 minutes of the race following heartbreak for the #55 as they dropped out of title contention following a technical issue.

Heading into the 86th Bol d’Or, BMW held a strong position in the Superstock category as the #9 Tecmas Racing Team secured pole position on Friday, setting the stage for a promising race. The team were involved in a battle for podium positions in the initial minutes of the race, however, a technical issue ultimately forced the pole sitting Superstock bike to retire after only 30 minutes.

The National Motos Honda team quickly emerged as a strong title contender after becoming the race leader from the third hour onwards, allowing them to climb from ninth to sixth place overall in the final hours. However, an issue in the final hour of the race saw them drop positions and outside of title contention. Team 33 Louit April Moto and Chromeburner RAC41 Honda managed to follow the #55 squad throughout the race, with the selection of KR racing slicks available providing speed and consistency in day and night. Following its strong performance, the #41 became the Dunlop Superstock Trophy champion.

David Auerbacher, Dunlop EWC Event Leader: “We congratulate Team 33 Louit April Moto for winning the 86th edition of the Bol d’Or and Chromeburner RAC41 Honda for claiming the Dunlop Superstock Trophy. They showed outstanding pace throughout the race, even amidst changing conditions, which is also a testament to the longevity and reliability the Dunlop slick racing tires provide.”

Dunlop-equipped BMW secures third place in the championship
There was more BMW and Dunlop success in the Formula EWC class with the #37 BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team starting the Bol d’Or from pole position for the second consecutive year. Markus Reiterberger surpassed team-mate Ilya Mykhalchyk’s lap record from last year to set an impressive new record of 1.51’595.

The Belgian team secured second place at the race start and advanced to the lead within the first hour of racing. A thrilling battle ensued between the #37 BMW, #12 Suzuki and #1 Honda, providing an electrifying spectacle during the early stages of the championship decider. The #37 momentarily slipped out of the top ten after opting for an early pit stop strategy, but swiftly recovered to apply relentless pressure on the leading teams. It moved up into third place following a late safety car and held onto that position to secure a podium position at Paul Ricard and finish third in the EWC championship.

Meanwhile, the Maco Racing team held onto a commendable seventh place at the end of the first hour, staying near the top ten throughout the race to move back into the top ten in the final stretch. The KM99 team showed impressive progress by progressing into the top ten within the first hour and maintaining their position for the majority of the race. Riders Bastien Mackels, Florian Marino and Lucas Mahias consistently challenged the top six and demonstrated unwavering pace on Dunlop slick racing tires until multiple technical issues caused them to slip outside of the top ten, marking the start of a recovery ride.

Among the field of four manufacturers, six bikes in the top ten were equipped with the KR Dunlop tires, reaffirming Dunlop’s presence and performance in the competitive world of endurance racing.

David Auerbacher, Dunlop EWC Event Leader: “We also want to thank the Formula EWC class teams that chose Dunlop tires. All three teams showed the speed and consistency Dunlop tires provide, allowing them to challenge the competition and fight for podium positions. Our anticipation for the 2024 season is high, as we look forward to the excitement it will bring as we continue to play an important part in this incredible championship.”
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