Exciting battle on the cards in Superstock
The battle to conquer the FIM EWC World Cup looks set to be as exciting as the quest for the world title. No fewer than 24 Superstock teams feature in the ranks of the 42 full-season squads in 2018-2019. The new clash begins next week at the Bol d’Or on the Paul Ricard circuit.
Webike Tati Team Trick Star, the new avatar of the 2017-2018 World Cup winner Tati Team Beaujolais Racing, will be front and centre. The French squad managed by Patrick Enjolras tied up this summer with Japanese team Trick Star Racing, which has raced the Suzuka 8 Hours since 2006 and stood on the Bol d’Or podium in 2016. The two Kawasaki-mounted teams have joined forces in a bid to make it into the FIM EWC Top 5. Riders Julien Enjolras, Kevin Denis and Osamu Deguchi have been charged with making that happen. Webike Tati Team Trick Star will be racing the Bol d’Or in the Superstock class, but is actively seeking sponsors to move up into Formula EWC at the 24 Heures Motos and beyond.
International competitors gearing up
Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki, last season’s World Cup runner-up and winner of the 2014 Superstock Cup, is back racing the entire season with riders Hugo Clère, Alex Sarrabayrouse and Louis Rossi. Another formidable opponent is Moto Ain ECS, the 2017-2018 World Cup’s second runner-up. The Moto Ain and Ecurie Chrono Sport combo has garnered Yamaha’s backing to clinch the Superstock title, while Yamaha Viltaïs Pierret Experiences has moved up into Formula EWC. Moto Ain ECS is fielding a rider line-up comprising Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser, Julien Pilot and Stefan Hill.
Italian squad No Limits Motor Team (Suzuki), the 4th-place World Cup finisher, is now targeting the podium with an all-Italian line-up: Christian Gamarino, Luca Scassa, Michael Mazzina and Cristiano Ascanio. Motors Events, who are making their Superstock comeback, are also expected to be very competitive. The Suzuki #50 has been entrusted to Belgian rider Gregory Fastré, Frenchman Baptiste Guittet and British racer Kev Coghlan, who placed 5th in the 2014 FIM Supersport World Championship.
Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto (Kawasaki) is also well-equipped to do battle among the leaders with a line-up of young talent: 22-year-old Enzo Boulom; Kevin Manfredi, 22, Chris Leesch, 23, and 18-year-old Antoine Thouzet.
Another team worth keeping an eye on is Germany’s BMW-mounted GERT56 by RS Speedbikes, with a strong rider line-up: Julian Puffe, Stefan Kerschbaumer, Filip Altendorfer and Rico Löwe. French team Atomic Motosport (Suzuki) has tied up with Italian squad Aviobike and will have Guillaume Antiga partnering with brothers Christian and Federico Napoli. Energie Endurance 91 (Kawasaki) has signed up for a 2nd season and is expected to make good progress with riders Noel Roussange, Kevin Lavainne, Léo Meunier and Jérôme Danton.
Kawasaki-mounted Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers will be racing the full season with the issue of reliability well under control and a Franco-Spanish trio comprising Enrique Ferrer, Robin Camus and Florent Tourne.
As for AM Moto Racing Compétition (Kawasaki) and JMA Motos Action Bike (Suzuki), the goal is to consistently score points to put a tough last season behind them.
Twelve new challengers
Twelve new teams are racing the full season, including a Monaco-based squad, a Czech team and a Polish team: LCR Endurance, Team 202, BMRT 3D Maccio Racing, TMC 35, Fast Team Racing, GSM Racing, Team Seigneur Motosport, Pitlane Endurance, Exteria Racing Team, Falcon Racing, Players and Wójcik Racing Team 2, the junior offshoot of EWC squad Wójcik Racing Team.