Underdog Brits shine at Bol d'Or

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The Bol d’Or 24 hour race this weekend was one for the underdogs as far as British success was concerned; with both Steve Mercer and Michael Rutter coming from nowhere to achieve excellent finishes.

Mercer, originally marked down as the reserve rider for his Penz13.com BMW team, out-qualified his teammate Hayato Takada by almost two seconds and was bumped up to a starting rider.

The team challenged for the lead of the Superstock class throughout the race, but a stop and go penalty against teammate Pedro Vallcaneras for passing under the safety car conceded a 40 second lead to the Suzuki Junior team that they were unable to pull back.

Mercer said afterwards “Everyone is in a sprint out there, and it’s really really tough racing. But I’m absolutely delighted to stand on the podium in a world championship race.”

Rutter was drafted in as a last minute replacement for the National Motos Honda team after being dropped from the TT Legends Honda team for teammate Michael Dunlop.

After initially battling with the Legends team on track, a crash from teammate Oliver Four demoted them back to an eventual eighth place finish.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer