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FIM EWC beckons speed racers

FIM EWC beckons speed racers

13/03/2017 11:59

Jules Cluzel will be on the starting grid at the 24 Heures Motos. This follows the arrival of Mike Di Meglio at GMT94 Yamaha, and the return of Randy de Puniet to Team SRC Kawasaki. MotoGP riders are increasingly swayed by the particular charm of the FIM EWC.

Jules Cluzel has given in to the siren call of Endurance. World Supersport vice-champion in 2016, 2014 and 2012 after seven Grand Prix seasons including some nifty feats in Moto2, Jules Cluzel is once again chasing the World Supersport title this year. But that won’t stop him giving Endurance a whirl for the very first time, at the 24 Heures Motos, aboard Team LMD63’s Yamaha Superstock. This team based in Clermont-Ferrand previously got it itself noticed by hiring Olympic pole vaulting champion Renaud Lavillénie to race the 24 Heures Motos in 2013 and 2014. Jules Cluzel will be teaming up with seasoned Endurance riders David Perret and Lucas de Carolis.

MotoGP and World Supersport
Jules Cluzel is the latest name on an ever-longer list of MotoGP riders attracted to Endurance racing. Back in November, GMT94 Yamaha announced the arrival of GP125 world champion Mike Di Meglio to replace Lucas Mahias – hired by factory team GRT Yamaha in World Supersport, where he is already making waves. Mike Di Meglio will be riding with David Checa and Niccolò Canepa.

Randy de Puniet will be on the starting grid again this year with Team SRC Kawasaki after his first outing on the factory-backed Kawasaki, which placed second at the 2016 Bol d’Or. The French MotoGP rider will once again team up with World Supersport champion Fabien Foret, a long-time convert to Endurance. Mathieu Gines will complete Team SRC.

The line-up at the start of the 24 Heures Motos – the second round of the FIM EWC 2016-2017 – will also include Alexis Masbou, former Moto3 rider and Superstock winner of the last Bol d’Or with Team Moto Ain. He will once again be riding alongside Hugo Clere. Moto Ain will also be hiring Swiss rider Robin Mulhauser, who previously rode in Moto2 and is racing the FIM Supersport world championship this season.

Sixth at the finish of the 24 Heures Motos, Tati Team Beaujolais Racing topped the Superstock category and also picked up the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy, winning €5,000 worth of prize money. The team placed ahead of Moto Ain CRT and AM Moto Racing Compétition.

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team was awarded the first ‘Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy’ on Sunday after the finish of the 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans.

GMT Yamaha won the 24 Heures Motos after a relentless battle against YART Yamaha Official EWC Team. Team SRC Kawasaki rounded off a podium with three tyre manufacturers represented: Dunlop, Bridgestone and Pirelli. 74,500 spectators watched the suspenseful race on the Bugatti circuit.

The 24 Heures Motos 2017 is turning out to be the edition that smashes all previous records, including distance and lap time.

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team and GMT94 Yamaha have been setting the pace of the 24 Heures Motos for the past 16 hours. The Austrian Yamaha is still in the lead, with the French Yamaha nipping at its heels.

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team is still in the lead, with GMT94 Yamaha close behind. Team SRC Kawasaki is back in 3rd place 8 hours into the race, while Suzuki Endurance Racing Team has lost ground after running off the track a couple of times.