A look back at a thrilling season
The 2021 FIM EWC season took place over five short months from June to October and each race offered viewers a thrilling show. Yoshimura SERT Motul (the 2021 FIM EWC champions), BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and F.C.C. TSR Honda France claimed the wins, but many other teams played lead roles in the course of the 2021 season.
With two wins, at the 24 Heures Motos and the Bol d’Or, the new Franco-Japanese Suzuki factory team Yoshimura SERT Motul took the 2021 world title ahead of BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. The factory BMW team wrapped up their second season with a brilliant first-ever win at the final in Most after two podiums at Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Estoril.
Third overall in the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship, Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar had an outstanding season even though they did not win any of the races. Second at the 24 Heures Motos and the 12 Hours of Estoril, the French Kawasaki team fought Yoshimura SERT Motul to the very end for third place at the final in Most. At the Bol d’Or, Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar had been fighting for a podium finish when an engine problem forced them to retire.
Fourth in the world standings behind these factory teams, VRD Igol Experiences completed their finest season since their arrival in the EWC class. The Yamaha-supported independent team forged ahead of the other privateer teams. They fought a memorable battle with BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team for 3rd place on the podium at Estoril. Having finished 4th in the EWC class at the 24 Heures Motos, 4th overall at the 12 Hours of Estoril and 3rd in the EWC class at the Bol d’Or, VRD Igol Experiences eventually conceded defeat at the 6 Hours of Most following mechanical woes. The winners of the 2016-2017 FIM Superstock World Cup, VRD Igol Experiences entered the FIM EWC Top 5 for the first time, ahead of two factory teams.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France, 5th in the 2021 overall standings, had a turbulent time of it this season. At Le Mans, the Japanese Honda team were lapping in 2nd place but dropped to 9th past the finish line as a result of an electrical problem followed by a crash. Their win at the 12 Hours of Estoril put the Honda team back in the running for the title but a mechanical problem forced them to withdraw at the Bol d’Or and put paid to their hopes of winning the world crown. A crash at Most distanced them even further from the 2021 overall podium.
YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team’s sixth place in the 2021 FIM EWC standings belies the performance of the Austrian factory team. The Yamaha #7 took pole position in three of the season’s four races. Yoshimura SERT Motul alone were able to get ahead of YART on the starting grid of the Bol d’Or. But YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team were almost never able to maintain their chances of winning to the end: they retired at the 24 Heures Motos and the Bol d’Or and crashed towards the end of the race at the 12 Hours of Estoril. Their epic duel with BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team for the win at the 6 Hours of Most was their finest performance. YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team finished second at Most, seven hundredths of a second behind the winner, with Marvin Fritz beating the lap record four times in the final half-hour of the race.
Seventh in the overall standings, Moto Ain made a noteworthy entrance into the EWC class after winning the FIM Superstock World Cup twice in a row. The French Yamaha-supported privateer team began by retiring at the 24 Heures Motos but caught up and scored important points with a 5th place at Estoril and 2nd place at the Bol d‘Or. A crash at Most prevented them entering the overall Top 5 in their very first season in the EWC class.
Eighth in the 2021 classification, the independent German team Motobox Kremer Racing had their finest season since 2010, when they finished sixth. As is often the case, the orange Motobox Yamaha crossed the finish line in every race. The team delivered their finest performance at the Bol d’Or, finishing 9th overall and winning points for finishing 4th in the EWC class.
ERC Endurance-Ducati have been working on developing their Panigale V4R for endurance racing since last season. They began the 2021 season with a 5th place in the EWC class at the 24 Heures Motos. They finished in the Top 6 in the EWC class at Estoril and at Most. At the Bol d’Or, like half of the field, ERC Endurance-Ducati were forced to retire. But the Ducati earned its stripes as an Endurance machine this season.
Le Maco Racing Team, 10th in the 2021 overall standings, had a shortened season because of the pandemic in Slovakia. Maco Racing Team were absent in Portugal, but scored points in the other three races.
After a brilliant 4th place last season, Wójcik Racing Team had a difficult season in 2021 with crashes and mechanical problems and finished 11th overall. But the Polish Yamaha-mounted team claimed an excellent 5th place at the 6 Hours of Most.
Despite noteworthy performances in practice and the early stages of the races, Tati Team Beringer Racing did not manage to score big. The French Kawasaki-mounted team finished 12th this season. Although they were forced to withdraw more than once, Tati Team Beringer Racing posted the fastest race laps at the 24 Heures Motos and the Bol d’Or thanks to Alan Techer.
13th overall, Team LRP Poland on BMW scored points at the finish of all the races after retiring at the 24 Heures Motos.
Bolliger Team Switzerland finished 14th after a season disrupted by being unclassified at the 24 Heures Motos due to a technical error. The historic Kawasaki team started the season with a new squad managed by the team creator’s son. They righted matters with an 8th-place finish at Estoril.
17th and last in the classification after EMRT (6th EWC at the Bol d’Or) and GT Endurance (9th EWC at the 24 Heures Motos), 3ART Best of Bike had a particularly tough year after a good 2019-2020 season. 3ART Best of Bike scored only 13 points thanks to their 10th place in the EWC class at the 12 Hours of Estoril.