The 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship has got off to a thrilling start with two dramatic crashes within the first few hundred metres.
Dunlop Superstock Trophy category racer Kevin Manfredi dropped his Wójcik Racing Team Yamaha shortly after the running start before polesitter Gregg Black crashed heavily at the Dunlop Chicane during a battle for position with F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Josh Hook.
Black’s Yoshimura SERT Motul-entered Suzuki was badly damaged in the crash but the UK-born French-based rider was able to return to the action following 18 laps lost in the pits while rapid repairs were made.
Hook initially led before Florian Alt moved in front on lap two for Honda Viltaïs Racing. YART Yamaha’s Marvin Fritz also enjoyed spells at the head of the pack during a fight for first place with his fellow German Alt.