Edge-of-seat final in perspective

2016-08-12T00:00:00+02:00August 12th, 2016|8 Hours of Oschersleben 2016|

The announcement that Bradley Smith will be shoring up Broc Parkes and Marvin Fritz for YART Yamaha Official EWC Team has given a fresh twist to the race for the FIM EWC 2016 title at the Oschersleben 8 Hours. At least seven squads are well placed to pick up the 2016 world title at the upcoming final in Germany.

The Suzuka 8 Hours threw the FIM EWC championship wide open. YART Yamaha Official EWC Team has muscled its way back into the leading pack thanks to its 4th-place finish at the race in Japan, not to mention the problems and letdowns other teams in the running for the world title experienced at Suzuka. Seven squads are clustered at the top of the standings, with only 17 points separating them in the run-up to the Oschersleben 8 Hours, where the winner will scoop 35 points. YART Yamaha Official EWC Team is neck and neck in the rankings with Team SRC Kawasaki, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, F.C.C. TSR Honda, GMT94 Yamaha and Honda Endurance Racing – and of course Team April Moto Motors Events, still topping the provisional standings with a lead of 8 points.

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team seizes the upper hand
The Austrian team has upped the stakes to get an edge over its rivals by hiring Bradley Smith. Pol Espargaró’s teammate in the Moto GP squad Monster Yamaha Tech3, Bradley Smith was one of the riders who got Yamaha Factory Team their win at the 2015 Suzuka 8 Hours. He is just the man to take up the challenge of winning the 2016 world title alongside YART Yamaha Official EWC Team stalwart Broc Parkes and Marvin Fritz, current leader of the IDM, the German Superbike championship. They will be riding the razor-sharp R1 that netted the team third spot on the podium at Suzuka. To round off its winning strategy, YART is supporting Team Rabid Transit’s Yamaha, whose riders Sheridan Morais, Brandon Cretu and Ivan Silva will be charged with barring the way of the competition.

A win to snap up the title
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team are level on points with the factory-backed SRC Kawasaki, which will have Fabien Foret back in the saddle alongside Gregory Leblanc and Matthieu Lagrive. Just one point behind them, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is also gunning for the title with Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson. The F.C.C. TSR Honda squad composed of Kazuma Watanabe, Damian Cudlin and Patrick Jacobsen will be fighting its corner three points behind SERT. With a four-point gap separating it from the Japanese Honda team, GMT94 Yamaha will be the other Yamaha team to watch, with riders David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha won the Oschersleben 8 Hours in 2015). Honda Endurance Racing is also in the race for the title with riders Julien da Costa, Sébastien Gimbert and Freddy Foray. Hot on the heels of the leading squads, privateer Team R2CL has a decent chance of a win with its Suzuki. And current standings topper Team April Moto Motors Events will also be going all out to keep its lead in the provisional standings with Gregg Black, Grégory Fastré and Alex Cudlin.
All in all, the Oschersleben 8 Hours – the final of this year’s FIM EWC championship – looks set to be an edge-of-seat race, with all of these teams battling for the victory that will also win them the title of FIM EWC 2016 world champion.

Close fight on the cards in Superstock too
The battle for the FIM EWC World Cup will also be closely fought. Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors is leading the pack on the eve of the race on its home ground in Oschersleben, with riders Bastien Mackels, Dominik Vincon and Stefan Kerschbaumer. The German team is only one point ahead of Team 3Art Yam’Avenue with riders Louis Bulle, Alex Plancassagne and Lukas Trautmann. Another three ambitious teams are close behind: AM Moto Racing Compétition, Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki and le Tati Team Beaujolais Racing.

Free practice sessions begin at 10am on Thursday 25 August, with the first qualifying to follow at 3pm. The Oschersleben 8 Hours will take place from 2pm to 10pm on Saturday 27 August.

2016 Oschersleben 8 Hours – Provisional entry list