Exciting weekend in store
The 24 Heures Motos – the second round of the 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship – shows every sign of being a thriller. With a bigger number of teams able to make a stab at the win, the outcome is all the more uncertain. Wait for the ending at 3pm on Sunday at Le Mans.
The starting grid offers the first clue that this is going to be a gripping race. The unexpected twist: Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance are on pole, ahead of YART Yamaha. The German team will be carrying the hopes of BMW, who have never won the 24 Heures Motos – though they claimed pole once before, in 2016. Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines were already on the BMW in 2016, and this year they are partnered by Julien Da Costa in the saddle of Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance’s S1000RR.
YART Yamaha, who took pole in 2018, will start from 2nd place this year, ahead of VRD Igol Pierret Expériences, a team worth keeping an eye on from the start. Having moved up into the EWC class this season, the team formerly known as Viltaïs are right up there among the favourites with riders Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Xavier Siméon.
VRD Igol Pierret Expériences will start ahead of Endurance hard-hitters such as Team SRC Kawasaki France, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Honda Endurance Racing. As reigning world champions and winners of the 2018 race, F.C.C. TSR Honda France, in 7th place on the grid, rank among the favourites. Wepol Racing (Sheridan Morais, Daniel Webb and Michael Laverty standing in for Mathieu Lagrive) and Bolliger Team Switzerland will also be worth keeping an eye on.
Superstocks gearing up for superb show
GERT56 by GS Yuasa, the Superstock winners at the Bol d’Or, still have the upper hand in the category, but four teams are in the same second: Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto, Motors Events (back on top form), Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki and No Limits Motor Team. Moto Ain are 20th on the grid having been slowed down by setup issues, but will likely charge into the battle for the Superstock podium.