Peter Lindén and Stéphane Mertens scored a convincing win at the Mettet 4 hrs last weekend. For the first time the race had a classic and a hybrid post-classic class, attracting 34 starters. Sweatshop Phase One won the classic class and the race overall. On Saturday, leg one of the race went exactly to plan. Fastest man Mertens ( pole 1.11.7 secs) started and finished, with Lindén completing the long mid-stint. The team led the race from start to finish. The 118 Senechal Suzuki pushed hard but were still four laps behind at the flag. Michel Siméon/Fred Tacheny won the post classic class (5th overall) and Team Force (Greg Fastré/Richard Hubin) went out early with a big oil mess on their new post classic Harris Suzuki.
The Sunday afternoon leg was not quite so straightforward. Mertens again started , this time in wet and raining conditions. Stop one went to plan, but as Mertens relaxed he noticed oil on his left boot.
Consequently the team pulled Peter Linden in early and changed to a three stop strategy. Stop two meant losing over half of the teams race one winning margin of four laps, by bringing the bike into the pitbox for a clean up and initial diagnosis. Nothing was obvious, so the team used instant-seal on all left side gasketted joints and pushed on with Mertens aboard. Post stop discussion and analysis revealed more. Team members had spotted the starter motor move when the start button was pushed. All was clear. the starter had either come loose or broken. The next stop proved the latter to be true, a palliative repair was applied and Lindén cruised gingerly to the flag for the overall and class win with a two lap margin.
Britain’s Steve Clark and Steve Boam scored an excellent 3rd place, in class, on their SCERT Harris Suzuki 1230 after a trouble free race – albeit after changing engines on the Saturday after a crankshaft failure.
Roger Ruiz, one of the five world champions present at Mettet, had a fantastic weekend, coming back from a light crash on lap two of leg one and then going on to finish second on Sunday – and all from a guy who is 70 in September.
Fastest lap; Stéphane Mertens 1.10.9 secs
Top Ten Results Overall
1 Peter Lindén /Stéphane Mertens.
Sweatshop Phase One Suzuki 171 laps Classic
2 Nicholas Senechal / Lionel Frerad
Baugy Motos Suzuki 169 laps Classic
3 Michel Simeon / Fred Tacheny
Tacheny Suzuki 164 laps Post Classic
4 Steve Clark / Steve Boam
Team SCERT Suzuki 162 laps Classic
5 Rob Morlon / Pedro Hernandez
BMW R1000RS 161 laps Classic
6 Bernard and Gaspard Demelenne
Yamaha FZR 1000 160 laps Post Classic
7 Bruno Weyland / Jerome Feyen
Moto-Martin Suzuki 159 laps Classic
8 Bert Goorts / Roland Lissens
BMW R1000 RS 159 laps Classic
9 Jean and Ronan Le Folch
Suzuki GSXR 750 Suzuki 158 Laps Post Classic
10 Oliver Delagneau / Freddy Font
Kawasaki ZXR 750 156 laps Post Classic
It was great to be at the top of the podium again. Thanks to all team and sponsors for making that possible.
The seasons highlight, the Spa 4hrs, will be held over the weekend of 2nd/3rd July. We hope to see you all there, newly freed from the shackles of the European Superstate. RB
Photographs by Kick47