A triple Yamaha win at Oschersleben
After winning the 24 Heures Motos in April, GMT94 Yamaha secured victory at the 8 Heures of Oschersleben following an epic duel with YART Yamaha Official EWC Team. The two factory-backed Yamahas came in ahead of private team Maco Racing Team, also on a Yamaha.
GMT94 Yamaha chalked up its third consecutive win in Germany, crossing the finish line at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben less than 31 seconds ahead of YART Yamaha Official EWC Team. The two factory-backed R1 bikes once again staged a thrilling duel throughout the race. GMT94 Yamaha ended up the winner despite a stop-and-go for non-compliance with the refuelling procedure at the tail end of the race. But the penalty galvanized Christophe Guyot’s riders: David Checa set a new lap record of 1’26.814.
David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Mike Di Meglio are an unbeatable trio right now on their Dunlop-shod R1. The Bridgestone-backed YART Yamaha Official EWC Team had no choice but to bow to their rivals’ sheer determination, all the more so since Broc Parkes and Kohta Nozane covered practically all the stints between them. Marvin Fritz, who had sustained injuries at Assen as well as during testing in Oschersleben, was unable to shore up YART’s chances of winning. “GMT94 Yamaha were stronger than us today,” Broc Parkes and Kohta Nozane admitted.
The duel for third place
Another duel played out – for third place – between Bolliger Team Switzerland and Maco Racing Team. The two machines, both on the verge of running out of fuel, chose two different strategies a few minutes from the finishing line. Kawasaki Bolliger opted for a pit stop, whereas Maco Racing kept on going, attempting to eke out its last few drops of fuel. Their bet paid off for Greg Junod, Marko Jerman and Anthony Dos Santos, who took Maco Racing Team’s Yamaha to the third step of the podium.
After starting the race from the bottom of the standings because of a tyre puncture, F.C.C. TSR Honda began a climb back up, and finished in 5th place. Gregg Black and Josh Hook rode the Honda #5 for practically the entire 8 hours, as Damian Cudlin was hampered by back pain. The Japanese team’s grit in Germany won them the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy.
An out-and-out battle in the Superstock class
After battling for the Superstock podium from start to finish, Moto Ain CRT (Yamaha) won its trial of strength with Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC despite being hit with a one-minute penalty towards the end of the race because of faulty headlamps. Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences won third place in the Superstock class despite a starting grid crash.
The championship gets harder to call
These three Superstock teams came in ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, which crossed the finish line ninth. Vincent Philippe got the holeshot, then took a spill early on in the race. But Suzuki Endurance Racing Team still tops the FIM EWC world championship rankings, with a seven-point lead over GMT94 Yamaha.
Honda Endurance Racing – 10th past the chequered flag – had a transmission ring gear issue. Another Superstock trio – Tati Team Beaujolais Racing, Ecurie Chrono Sport and GERT56 HMT by RS Speedbikes – finished 11th to 13th, ahead of Team April Moto Motors Events. Gregory Leblanc and Gregory Fastré ran the Honda #50 as a two-man team, since the injured Mathieu Lagrive was unfit to race.
And, after scoring a remarkable third place on the starting grid, the BMW-mounted Team LRP Poland withdrew following Lukas Trautmann’s spectacular crash.
Next race on the calendar: the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring on Saturday 24 June.