F.C.C. TSR Honda France win in Germany
F.C.C. TSR Honda France won the day at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben, ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki France (who now lead the FIM Endurance World Championship) and VRD Igol Pierret Expériences. With a 4th-place finish, Moto Ain claimed both the Superstock win and the FIM Endurance World Cup.
The podium was starting to look like a done deal, with four of the favourites battling it out in the lead from the race start, when big drama shook things up an hour and a half before the finish at Oschersleben. YART Yamaha’s engine failure while they were locked in battle with F.C.C. TSR Honda France for the win caused Honda Endurance Racing, then in 4th place, to crash, throwing the end of the race wide open.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France, the 2018 race winner, triumphed this year with riders Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike Di Meglio, ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki France. The Kawasaki riders Jérémy Guarnoni, David Checa and Erwan Nigon made it to the second step of the podium. Most importantly, they lifted the factory Kawasaki to the top of the provisional standings in the run-up to the grand finale at Suzuka.
For VRD Igol Pierret Expériences (Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Xavier Siméon), their third-place podium finish was as good as a win. The Yamaha-supported team secured their first podium in their first Formula EWC season.
A Superstock just off the podium
Fourth-place finishers Moto Ain also savoured victory. Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Stefan Hill led the Superstock class for 204 of the total 303 laps run. They secured the Superstock win at Oschersleben ahead of Wójcik Racing Team 2 and BMRT 3D Maccio Racing. Above all, they won Moto Ain’s first-ever FIM Endurance World Cup. Their battle with GERT56 by GS Yuasa for the Cup was closely fought. The BMW-mounted German team, who were leading the world standings before Oschersleben, finished the race in 13th place after running out of fuel and experiencing electrical issues.
The Superstock teams were particularly competitive in Germany. Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers ran a solid race in 9th place to win the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy singling out the fighting spirit of an entire team. No Limits Motor Team and Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto, 11th and 12th at the finish, also delivered a noteworthy performance. Junior Team LMS Suzuki were a contender for the FIM World Cup early on in the race, but a crash relegated them to 17th at the finish line.
Suzuki’s bad luck
Like Junior Team LMS Suzuki, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team had a tough race with two crashes and finished 10th. The standings leader before the race in Germany, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will get to Suzuka with a five-point lag behind Team SRC Kawasaki France.
Another of the favourites who got unlucky were ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance. They got off to a good start, but finished 19th after colliding with another bike.
These upsets should not overshadow two excellent performances at Oschersleben. Fany Gastro BMW Motorrad by Mercury Racing (Karel Hanika, Ondrej Jezek and Ladislav Chmelik) secured their finest result this season with a 5th-place finish. Likewise, Webike Tati Team Trick Star were 7th at the finish. Julien Enjolras and Kevin Denis had clearly got the measure of their new EWC Kawasaki with the help of Bastien Mackels at Oschersleben.
Next race on the 2018-2019 FIM EWC calendar: the Suzuka 8 Hours Grand Finale in Japan on 28 July.