BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team dominate Le Mans test
The FIM EWC season will kick off on 17 and 18 April at the 24 Heures Motos, and BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team have already established themselves as the favourites. The factory BMW team held undivided sway ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France and Yoshimura SERT Motul in the course of the just-concluded two-day test at Le Mans.
With 43 of the 52 machines slated to be on the grid of the 24 Heures Motos, the two-day test organized in the run-up to the opening race at Le Mans offered an interesting preview of the coming season.
Contenders since last season in the FIM Endurance World Championship, BMW Motorrad struck hard from the start. The factory M 1000 RR entrusted to Markus Reiterberger, Ilya Mikhalchik, Javier Forés and Kenny Foray dominated the test with a lead of nearly one second over the competition. BMW drove the point home by posting a 1:35.133 best lap, thereby beating the record for the fastest lap set by Randy de Puniet in qualifying at the 2017 24 Heures Motos.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France were one of their closest competitors with a 1:36.068 lap. Two crashes slowed the progress of the Honda on the second day. “That’s the risk in testing when we’re trying out different setups and tyre choices,” explains Mike di Meglio.
Yoshimura SERT Motul were close behind with a 1:36.190, confirming that the combination of two major Japanese and French teams into the new Suzuki outfit is working well.
The fastest independent team, VRD Igol Experiences (Yamaha) were hard-hitting as always, clocking the 4th-quickest time ahead of Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar who are fine-tuning their setup with their new Dunlop tyres.
6th-fastest overall after the two days, Tati Team Beringer Racing now evidently master their EWC Kawaski. The French team were ahead of Wójcik Racing Team (Yamaha), the factory Ducati team ERC Endurance and BMW-mounted Team LRP Poland.
First Superstock in the Top 10
BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers, the quickest Superstock of the test, posted the 10th-fastest time. Having proved the fastest in class right from Tuesday, BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers had to withdraw early from the test at Le Mans. After a crash and the bike catching fire on Tuesday morning and another crash in the afternoon, the Kawasaki-mounted privateer team were unable to carry on. “We’ll be chasing parts and a budget with 15 days to go for the 24 Heures Motos,” says team manager Romain Mange. “We broke two frames and a number of parts. But we’ll do everything we can to be there at Le Mans. “
One team to watch out for are National Motos, 14th-fastest overall, who are debuting in the Superstock class. The other teams in the class featuring in the Top 20 of the Le Mans test are OG Motosport by Sarazin, Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers CMS Motostore, JMA Racing Action Bike and RAC41 Chromeburner.
The first official test of the 2021 24 Heures Motos takes place on Thursday 15 April.
20 best times of the pre-24 Heures Motos test
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team – 1:35.133
F.C.C. TSR Honda France – 1:36.068
Yoshimura SERT Motul – 1:36.190
VRD Igol Experiences – 1:36.476
Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar – 1:36.527
Tati Team Beringer Racing – 1:36.953
Wójcik Racing Team – 1:36.979
ERC Endurance Ducati – 1:37.276
Team LRP Poland – 1:37.504
BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers (SST) – 1:37.745
R2CL – 1:37.766
3ART Best of Bike – 1:37.794
Moto Ain – 1:37.797
National Motos (SST) – 1:37.865
Maco Racing – 1:37.912
Bolliger Team Switzerland – 1:38.027
OG Motosport by Sarazin (SST) – 1:38.050
Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers CMS Motostore (SST) – 1:38.180
JMA Action Bike (SST) – 1:38.679
Metiss (EXP) – 1:38.735
RAC41 Chromeburner (SST) – 1:39.056