A top five finish for the final round
Bol d'Or, France, September 19th 2023 - By finishing fifth at the Bol d'Or, after having fought a long time for a podium finish, the Webike Trickstar Kawasaki team ended the EWC season on a high note.
The riders of the #11 Kawasaki only just missed out on a podium finish at the 86th Bol d'Or. Randy de Puniet, Grégory Leblanc and Kazuki Watanabe, who had long been in the hunt behind the leading trio, were unfortunately held back by technical problems which cost them precious seconds. "Nevertheless, I'm very satisfied with the team because they worked quickly and always overcame the difficulties that arose," commented Ryuji Tsuruta, the boss of the Kawasaki Webike Trickstar team. The Franco-Japanese team's mechanics repaired their ZXR-RR in a matter of minutes when Randy de Puniet, caught out by an oil spill, along with seven other riders, crashed in the Signes corner with just a few hours left to go. Continued Ryuji Tsuruta: "I'm pleased that we've finished our first EWC season with a fifth place. We have made progress throughout the year, and this will help us to prepare well for the next championship.
At Le Mans in April, the #11 Kawasaki took the chequered flag in tenth position. It was our first race and communication was difficult," recalls Tsuruta. “It's not always easy to understand each other when you don't speak English very well. At Spa, where Christophe Ponson was replaced by Grégory Leblanc, the Webike Trickstar team managed to finish fifth. The arrival of Greg has improved the atmosphere in the team," remarked Tsuruta. “He's a positive person who has injected energy.” Unsurprisingly, the Suzuka Eight Hours was more difficult. "I knew it would be complicated because there are always a lot of fast Japanese teams at this round. We only finished twelfth, but everyone worked hard and we still performed well. These efforts were rewarded at the Bol d'Or. Overall, this season has been more difficult than I imagined," concluded the Webike Trickstar Kawasaki team boss. “But it's also been a valuable learning experience.”