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Honda Viltaïs Racing simply the best, says EWC racer Odendaal

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Honda Viltaïs Racing simply the best, says EWC racer OdendaalHonda Viltaïs Racing simply the best, says EWC racer Odendaal

14 October 2023

Steven Odendaal reckons the best is yet to come for Honda Viltaïs Racing in the FIM Endurance World Championship.

The South African, who joined the team for the 2022 EWC season when it was reliant on Yamaha power and won the 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or, was speaking at the completion of the 2023 campaign, Viltaïs Racing’s first using Honda machinery.

“As a team we did a fantastic job coming in with a new brand,” said the 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship runner-up. “It’s not very easy because you face different challenges when you move to a new brand but the team took it to the best of their abilities and we could fight for the podium. This is really positive for us and I think for next year we just need to make one step more and we will be there to fight [at the front].”

After starting last month’s season-deciding Bol d’Or from eighth position, Honda Viltaïs Racing was soon into the lead thanks to an inspired decision to fit Pirelli’s intermediate tyre for the rapidly drying conditions following pre-race rain. Making his Bol d’Or debut, Honda Viltaïs Racing’s Argentine rider Leandro Mercado impressed before passing the baton to Germany’s Florian Alt before Odendaal began his first stint on the #333 Honda.

Fifth after eight hours of action, which secured six intermediate points, Honda Viltaïs Racing was up to third at the 16-hour mark to land eight additional points. More standout riding, pitwork and the support of British reserve rider James Westmoreland, ensured second place in the final classification and fifth in the overall FIM Endurance World Championship for Teams and the Independent Trophy.

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