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From watching to taking part: how TV and EWC glory led to YART’s Daytona 200 adventure

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From watching to taking part: how TV and EWC glory led to YART’s Daytona 200 adventureFrom watching to taking part: how TV and EWC glory led to YART’s Daytona 200 adventure

04 March 2024

Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team’s Niccolò Canepa, Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika will go from racing together in the FIM Endurance World Championship to against each other when they contest the Daytona 200 in the United States of America this weekend.

The 2023 EWC title-winning trio are contesting the famous event from 7-9 March on Supersport-specification YZF-R6 motorcycles with Spanish EWC frontrunner and Daytona regular Xavi Forés expected to provide their toughest opposition.

German rider Fritz reveals how YART’s appearance in Florida this weekend came together, the challenge in store and how the strong team spirit within Mandy Kainz’s Austria-based outfit will lead to a top result.

“Last March we were testing in Rijeka and in the evening with all the team and the customers we were watching this Daytona race because we knew some people racing there,” said 30-year-old Fritz. “We said to our team boss Mandy Kainz, ‘Mandy, if we win the world championship this year can we go to Daytona next year’. He said with full confidence, ‘yeah, yeah, for sure we do it’. But, at that time, I don’t think he believed it would happen but Mandy is the greatest team boss I can imagine, he’s like a second dad for me, and he held his promise.

“Me and Karel went to Daytona for the test [last Autumn], which was amazing. America is always special but that track in this place is unreal. Everything is so huge and with this banking in the corner, it’s 33 degrees when you stand there and it’s like a wall, you can’t believe you can ride there. But the test was an amazing experience, we were putting in some really god lap times and now us three will go there for the race.

“Daytona is an amazing promotion for everybody and we think we can fight for the really good positions, especially as us three will work together. Of course we race against each other, which is nice, but we will still help each other. Our team is very used to have fast pitstops which can play on our side in this race. We know we can achieve a really good result, we have prepared rally good and that’s why we look forward to this race so much.”

Fritz explained slipstreaming is key to a strong Daytona 200 result: “Each of us has his own bike, it’s a sprint race but it’s the Daytona 200 so it’s two and a half hours with two pitstops each. But when you are out of the group without the slipstream you have already lost the race, so you always need to be in the top group with the slipstream. Our target will be to work together to get one rider on the podium or even win. Of course, everybody in the team wants to win, it would be a dream, but it doesn’t matter who it is.”

Of the iconic Daytona banking, Fritz said: “It’s very challenging because you ride with a 600 which is a different bike [to what we use in the EWC] with less power but there you need to slipstream even more to be faster because when you slipstream you are one and a half seconds per lap faster than without. For the banking, on the bottom it’s not so much but on the top the banking is much more and this means you have to ride full on the wall and take the speed on the straights. You are riding one metre from the wall away at 280-300kph. It’s super-fast and you do this for two and a half hours, which is a lot but we are well prepared.”

Following the Daytona 200, Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team will resume its preparations for the EWC season-opening 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans in France from 18-21 April.

Daytona image: Facebook.com/yart.official

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Team Aviobike makes Aprilia EWC move with World Cup winner Calia

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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”

Former World Superbike rider Alessandro Delbianco’s inclusion in Pit-Lane Endurance’s tweaked EWC rider line-up for the 2024 season is the realisation of a “big dream”, according to the Italian star.Delbianco has been named as a late replacement for Chilean Maximilian Scheib at the Yamaha-powered FIM Endurance World Cup team. He will link up with Finn Eemeli Lahti, Frenchman Enzo Boulom and Belgian Luca De Vleeschauwer, starting with next week’s 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans, France.“The EWC is my big dream because I’m very passionate about endurance racing,” 26-year-old Delbianco said. “This year I will make a full season with Pit-Lane Endurance, I make a wildcard in the Bol d’Or last year [with OG Motorsport World Endurance Team] and make a very good result, taking pole position in my group. We battled for the podium all the race but then we broke the engine in the morning but this is endurance.”While the Bol d’Or at Circuit Paul Ricard gave Delbianco a taste of the EWC and the challenge the riders face, the upcoming 24 Heures Motos will provide his first experience of Circuit Bugatti in racing conditions.“The track is amazing but maybe the weather is not our friend in these days,” Delbianco said. “But it’s okay, maybe it’s a very difficult for a 24-hour race but we try.  “The Bol d’Or in the night was amazing and this place [Le Mans] with all the people will be another amazing experience.“For sure we ride for making a podium because we are a good team with very good riders. We are all fast riders so why not?” Photo: Facebook.com/aledelbianco52

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