First Nathalie Maillet Challenge trophy goes to EWC pole ace Hanika
Karel Hanika is the recipient of the first Nathalie Maillet Challenge trophy for his epic 2m18.845s lap of the 6.985-kilometre Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this afternoon.
Czech rider Hanika was the only FIM Endurance World Championship ace to set a sub-2m19s lap, a feat he achieved in the Red Rider session of Second Qualifying.
Part of the Austrian YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC entry, Hanika receives the Nathalie Maillet Challenge trophy which goes to the rider setting the best lap in qualifying for the 24H SPA EWC Motos and is awarded as a tribute to Nathalie Maillet, the former Spa-Francorchamps Circuit Manager who lost her life last year.
“I did no mistakes and was trying to hit my lines and the bike was working great,” said Hanika. “I believe there was one or two tenths possible to do better but, for sure, you are always on the limit every time you go into qualifying. You are 100 per cent at these moments and I did the best that I could do. I am very happy.”
Commenting on the Nathalie Maillet Challenge, François Ribeiro, Head of Discovery Sports Events, said: “This trophy is the perfect opportunity to honour the essential role played by the late Nathalie Maillet, whose invaluable help made this race possible. It was her vision that led to the first discussions, and which ultimately led us to where we are today.”
Amaury Bertholome, Managing Director, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, said: “The 24H SPA EWC Motos taking place this weekend is the culmination of a process that began in May 2016 under the impetus of my predecessor Nathalie Maillet. This trophy reflects perfectly her character, a person who was driven by an unwavering desire to win and a passion for the circuit that we have in common.”