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EWC Take Five with Marvin Fritz

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EWC Take Five with Marvin FritzEWC Take Five with Marvin Fritz

01 March 2024

Part of the Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team that won the FIM Endurance World Championship in 2023, 30-year-old German rider Marvin Fritz talks defending titles, his “brothers” Niccolò Canepa and Karel Hanika, avocados, Suzuka and more as the build-up to the 2024 EWC season continues.

The long wait to win the FIM Endurance World Championship for Teams came to an end last September, how confident are you of winning the title again this season?
“So many times we were pretty close but last year we had amazing season, we finished all the 24-hour races, which we were struggling to do in the past, after the team did an amazing job. Of course, we still have some things where we can improve, this is always how it is in racing, but we are more confident and more strong than last year because we know what we can do. The thing we learned the most last season is that we don’t push when we know we don’t need to push to take the points back home. As a team, we worked perfectly together and, also, with Niccolò and Karel, we are like brothers. We’ve been together for a long time, more than any other EWC team.”

Does the fact you start 2024 as the reigning champion team mean there’s more or less expectation and pressure on your shoulders?
“Last year the pressure was high. Many sponsors, even my private sponsors, they didn’t say anything, but I was a bit tired to say, ‘ah, next year we’ll do it’. But finally we made it and this took a lot of pressure away. Now we know we can do it and this gives us a lot of confidence. We had our world championship party in December and we had this discussion about having the number one on our bike. This is something we were dreaming of for a long time and we can’t wait to start the new season with the number one on our bike.”

You mention there are things to improve, does this relate to performance or reliability?
“We were pretty good last year with the reliability and the team still has some little things to improve on the bike. For the 24-hour races we’ll go with the same configuration as last year. Our bike was not the fastest but the fastest never win in the EWC, this we have learned in the past. Already before the end of last year we were testing for three days in Spain, working on the geometry, suspension and some little things which were better than what we had last season. Our bike will be stronger this year, so we are very confident to go into the new season.”

It's getting on for six months since the Bol d’Or 2023 EWC season finale. How have you kept busy since?
“We’ve done some testing and every day we are doing training. We also take care about what we eat to check the weight. For the 24-hour races you cannot train, it just comes and you have to fight through it. But we do a lot of running and cycling and work on the strength and the concentration. I do a lot of swimming, cycling and sauna. The 24-hour races are pretty hard and then in Suzuka you lose three kilos in one hour riding and you need to ride three times. In the 24-hour races you need to ride nine times. This makes it very hard but, overall, we are one of the strongest teams in terms of our fitness and we are all pushing the same, to be fast and not lose time. This makes us very strong. When I am at home in the morning I will have some egg and bread and avocado. Later my girlfriend will make some rice and chicken and vegetables. Then I go cycling in the afternoon with a friend for two or three hours. In the evening I just eat something light like a salad and a little desert of yoghurt with some fruits.”

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?
“It has to be the Suzuka 8 Hours. It’s the most special race of the year with all the amazing fans and the manufacturers. For Yamaha and all the manufacturers from Japan it’s so important to get the win there or to be on the podium. For us we’ve been pretty close for the last two years and we have everything to be in that position, to be on the podium. Last year we were second in qualifying and the year before, when the official Kawasaki team was there, I was just one tenth of a second behind Jonathan Rea in qualifying, which was amazing against a rider like him. But with the heat and the humidity it’s very hard of course. Because the fuel consumption is the lowest it means the stint is one-hour long and it’s very hard for the body. After five laps you are already sweating and you can’t wait to get in the cold pool after the stint. Then you have to do it all again. But everybody is looking forward to this race. But first we have to do Le Mans and Spa and already we can’t wait.”

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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12 April 2024

Event preview: Unmissable EWC 2024 revved up for Le Mans

Big changes will bring big action to the FIM Endurance World Championship as one of the most wide-open seasons in recent EWC history revs up at Le Mans in France next week (18-21 April).With multiple teams changing bikes or riders since the thrilling finale to the 2023 EWC title chase, the sport of motorcycle endurance racing just got even more unpredictable.Although Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team will attempt to defend its EWC crown with an unchanged line-up of Niccolò Canepa, Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika, several rival outfits have all made significant changes ahead of the 47th edition of the 24 Heures Motos.

11 April 2024

Team Aviobike makes Aprilia EWC move with World Cup winner Calia

Team Aviobike will bring the Aprilia name back to the FIM Endurance World Championship in 2024 when it unleashes an RSV4 1100 on the series.Giovanni Baggi’s Italy-based squad, which previously raced Yamaha motorcycles in the EWC, has formed technical alliances with Nuova M2 and Revo Racing Project to run an Aprilia in the Superstock-based FIM Endurance World Cup, which uses tyres from exclusive supplier Dunlop.As well as counting on Italian technology, Team Aviobike’s four riders for 2024 – Luca Bernardi, Kevin Calia, Samuele Cavalieri and Francesco Cocco – are all from Italy.While Bernardi and Cavalieri are EWC newcomers, Cocco has one EWC start to his name from 2021 when he contested but was unable to finish the 12 Hours of Estoril in Portugal. However, in Calia, Team Aviobike has secured the services of a rider with considerable EWC experience and pedigree after he formed part of the Team 33 Louit April Moto line-up that claimed last season’s FIM Endurance World Cup. 

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. 

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