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EWC Take Five with Dan Linfoot

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EWC Take Five with Dan LinfootEWC Take Five with Dan Linfoot

22 March 2024

Dan Linfoot has been handed a gilt-edged opportunity to race for Yoshimura SERT Motul in the 2024 FIM Endurance World Championship. 

And given the Suzuki-powered outfit’s illustrious EWC pedigree, the 35-year-old Briton is determined to make the most of his chance by mounting a title challenge alongside team-mates Gregg Black, Étienne Masson and the squad’s reserve rider Cocoro Atsumi

Speaking as he made his way between tests in Jerez and Valencia earlier this week, this is what Linfoot had to say of his big EWC chance.

How good is this opportunity and how much of a factor did your performance in the Suzuka 8 Hours last season play in you being signed by Yoshimura SERT Motul for 2024?
“Riding a bike in Suzuka that was a similar spec and with similar tyres to the team I’m with now was influential as they maybe took a bit of notice. Also, from my side, it was important because I wanted to try to get on a package that I could show my potential. The bike I rode at Suzuka last year allowed me to do that. I made some contact with Yoshimura SERT after that race just to say, ‘look, if there’s ever an opportunity I’d be really interested’, but I didn’t actually know behind the scenes there was going to be some changes with Sylvain [Guintoli leaving]. So it was just really right place, right time.”

That was an epic ride from you at Suzuka. Was that your best so far in the EWC?
“Without question it definitely was that, 100 per cent. The final stint was pretty special. I was really in the zone if I’m honest. Every stint I did I just seemed to get more confident with the package and the bike and the tyres. My feeling kept increasing in each stint and to arrive at the final stint with a chance of getting near the podium, I just gave my 100 per cent every lap. I was just at the maximum trying to make sure that we tried to achieve the goal. We just missed out on the podium but it was a fantastic experience and sort of opened up my eyes a lot to how good the endurance packages are when you’re on the correct bike and tyres. It’s no secret I’ve wanted to change to endurance for quite a few years, I’ve really enjoyed it since I first started but I was never able to make a full contract for the season so I would always try to mix in some EWC with my British Superbike commitments at the same time. This season has fallen really well, the opportunity I’ve got with Yoshimura SERT Motul means I can just solely concentrate on the EWC and I’m really happy for that.”

Dan Linfoot: “The thought of having some pressure to deliver race victories doesn’t scare me, it just excites me”

Given what Yoshimura SERT Motul has achieved in the EWC, how much pressure do you feel?
“Four or five years ago I’d have said, ‘I don’t think I’m quite ready for a top team in endurance because I’ve not done so many races’. But actually now it only excites me. I’ve shown a little bit of potential of what I can do in EWC and now that makes me so excited, so I want to win, I don’t want to be part of this team and try to finish third, fourth or fifth, I want to win. It doesn’t faze me at all. The thought of having some pressure from Japan and SERT to deliver race victories doesn’t scare me, it just excites me.” 

How have you settled into the team and how has testing gone so far?
“I raced with Gregg in 2008 in European Superstock and he obviously speaks full English, so we got to know each other a little bit that year. Unfortunately for Gregg he ends up being the translator but he’s my first port of call with any questions. Other than that I didn’t know anybody else in the team so it’s all been new meeting everybody, Damien [Saulnier], the technical guys from Japan, all the technicians so it’s starting from zero in the team. But it’s a pleasure, honestly. I feel like I’ve been here quite some time. I’ve settled in well straight away so hopefully it continues like this. You can tell from the first day you arrive in the team that it’s a well-oiled machine. This is the result of many years of hard work and development with the bike and communication. If I’m honest I travelled to Jerez for the test with lots of unanswered questions in my head, first time meeting the team, ‘am I going to gel, am I going to be okay’, all these unanswered questions but immediately when I rolled out of the pitlane I felt quite homely on the bike and increased the pace throughout the first day and settled in really, really fast so I’m really pleased with that. There was no direct pressure from the team, they work in a very productive way. They had some new parts to test so we all got through that and all gave our individual feedback to the development parts they brought. For the first test I couldn’t ask for more, honestly. Obviously I’m only quite young to the project but the first experience and feeling is really 100 per cent.”

While the EWC title is obviously the goal what would represent at satisfactory season for you?
“At this point of the season when you are looking at the season the aim is clear, the aim is to win. Only once you get over rounds one and two and you understand the results that you’ve got does the realism come in and maybe you have to change your expectation. But we’ll never give up. There are only four rounds and every round we have to give 100 per cent and aim for the victory. But it’s endurance, anything can happen, if something happens let’s assess that at the time. But we need to win.”

The 47th edition of the 24 Heures Motos opens the 2024 FIM Endurance World Championship season from 18-21 April. Ticket information is available HERE

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11 April 2024

EWC season-deciding Bol d’Or chosen to host Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale

In an exciting move, the FIM Endurance World Championship will welcome a new guest race at the Bol d’Or season showdown in September.For the first time, the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale will take place as part of an EWC race weekend with a 20-minute winner-takes-all contest scheduled at 12h30 CET on 14 September ahead of the Bol d’Or getting under way at 15h00.After the first two editions of the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale, in 2022 and 2023, were run alongside the FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Racing’s decision to join forces with EWC promoter Warner Bros. Discovery Sports is a significant development.Not only does it underline the growing appeal of the EWC to motorcycle manufacturers, scheduling the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale during the Bol d’Or weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard gives its riders the opportunity to experience an EWC event and benefit from the promotional and organisational excellence on offer. With the EWC the recognised Home of Endurance Racing where every moment is unmissable, it’s also a chance for the riders to showcase their skills in front of EWC team managers.With 83,000 fans in attendance during last September’s Bol d’Or, there will be no shortage of support for the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale contenders. This will include words of encouragement from Niccolò Canepa, Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika, who clinched the FIM Endurance World Championship for Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team when the 86th running of the Bol d’Or decided the all-action 2023 EWC season. The trio will offer insights into the secrets of a fast lap around Circuit Paul Ricard during a question and answer session with the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale riders.Approximately 30 riders competing in national-level Yamaha Cups and Challenges will be invited to take part in the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale. Following Free Practice and Qualifying, the first of two races will take place on Friday 13 September ahead of the deciding event on Saturday 14 September shortly before the EWC riders take to the track for the Bol d’Or.On offer to the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale winner is a brand new R7, the latest in Yamaha’s R-series range of bikes, that combines the perfect blend of agile handling and sports performance with everyday fun, according to the manufacturer. The second and third-placed riders will win vouchers for GYTR performance parts that can be redeemed from their local Yamaha GYTR PRO shop. Video highlights will be available on the Yamaha Racing YouTube channel. Updates will be published on the Yamaha Racing social media channels and website.The R7 SuperFinale riders will be offered full support at the event, where they will be located in the dedicated R7 SuperFinale Village situated inside the EWC paddock. After the mandatory briefings, the riders will join bLU cRU Rider Coach Lorenzo Alfonsi for a guided tour of the Le Castellet track. Alfonsi will provide advice to help them with line choice and correct gear selection.Jean-Baptiste Ley, Head of Motorsport at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, said: “It’s fantastic that at an event where Yamaha Racing achieved such a momentous title in 2023 will host the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale 12 months later. In our 10th season as EWC promoter, we are very excited to welcome the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale family to the Bol d’Or, an event as famous as it is prestigious. The fact that Yamaha Racing has chosen the Bol d’Or as the venue of this highly significant competition speaks volumes about the strength and appeal of the EWC to manufacturers. We look forward to providing a fitting platform for the Yamaha R7 European SuperFinale and hope for memorable and successful weekend for all competitors.”Paolo Pavesio, Marketing and Motorsport Director, Yamaha Motor Europe, said: “We are delighted to announce that the R7 European SuperFinale will form a part of the FIM EWC final round of the 2024 season and run alongside the historic Bol d’Or. It will create an incredible atmosphere for the SuperFinale participants. Before they take to the track, they will get the opportunity to meet the riders of the Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC team, the reigning Endurance world champions, offering them an excellent opportunity to learn from the very best and get advice on tackling the iconic Circuit Paul Ricard and its infamous Mistral Straight. Plus, over 80,000 people attended the race in 2023, so the competitors will also get to experience the atmosphere and excitement of racing in front of packed stands full of passionate fans to create what will surely be some very special memories.”The Bol d’Or is organised at Circuit Paul Ricard in France by the Association of France Moto-Cyclecariste, Moto Revue and AMCF Sport. Promoted by Larivière Organisation, it is run under the auspices of Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, Moto Fédératíon Française, and the leagues of Motorcyclists Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Ile de France. 

10 April 2024

Delbianco’s Pit-Lane Endurance EWC ride to realise “big dream”

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