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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:

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11 April 2024

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

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

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