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Honda TT Legends out of luck at Bol d'Or
21 April 2013
The Honda TT Legends suffered huge disappointment in the Bol d'Or 24-hour Endurance World Championship meeting at Magny-Cours, retiring from the event while holding fourth place 18 hours into the race.
John McGuinness was forced to pull over after the CBR1000RR Fireblade began overheating, despite the best efforts of the team to fix an issue with the heat exchanger which was identified when Michael Dunlop made an unexpected pit stop after 8am on Sunday morning.
The 19-times TT winner from Morecambe said he was 'gutted' with the outcome in France.
“We're just gutted not to have finished. The lads have done so much work on the bike – new electronics, traction control – all sorts of bits and pieces that they've spent hundreds if not thousands of hours on,” said McGuinness.
“We've had a fantastic run of results up to now with seven races completed and we were looking good in the race.
“We were top five again and chipping away, but unfortunately we had a problem 18 hours in.
“I'm just speechless really, just gutted, but we'll try and take the positives out of it,” he added.
“We were running a lot closer to some of our rivals so we can take that to the next round.”
Northern Ireland rider Dunlop, making his EWC debut after being selected ahead of Michael Rutter for the legendary race, vowed the team would return 'bigger and stronger' at the Suzuka 8-hour round in July.
“It's so disappointing for all the lads after all the hard work they've done,” said the 24-year-old.
“I really feel for them because it's not just about us riders, it's a massive team effort and they put so much into it.
“I just got my head down and got on with it, going with the flow really,” he added.
“It was going well up until that point, but we'll go back and take a look at the bike and come back bigger and stronger next time.”
Team boss Neil Tuxworth said the nature of endurance racing made it inevitable that such circumstances would arise.
“This is a very disappointing end for the team after all the hard work and effort everyone has put in.
“It's our first incomplete event in seven races and our first ever retirement from a 24 hour race, but it happens to everyone at some point and the main thing is that everyone is ok,” he said.
“We haven't had any injuries to anybody and although there was some leakage from the bike, it doesn't look like it caused problems to anybody else as the safety car came out very quickly.
“Like I say, very disappointing for everyone but we have to move on and look forward to the road races coming up in the next few months.”
The race was won by the SRC Kawasaki team, whose line-up included Loris Baz.
Michael Rutter, who earned an eleventh hour ride with the French National Motos Honda outfit, finished eighth.
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