Moto Ain win second World Cup
Moto Ain have won the FIM Endurance World Cup for a second time. The French Yamaha-mounted team dominated the Superstock class this season, with Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clère claiming three wins and one third-place finish in the four races held.
Last season, Moto Ain won the FIM World Cup by a whisker at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben. This season, Moto Ain managed a near-clean sweep. The Michelin-shod Yamaha 96 finished with a lead of more than 80 points over the competition.
The team managed by Pierre Chapuis seized control right from the opening race, the 2019 Bol d’Or, taking 6th place overall and the Superstock win. They did even better at the 8 Hours of Sepang with a 4th-place finish and another win in the Superstock class. Despite several crashes at the 24 Heures Motos, the Yamaha 96 finished 10th and the team climbed onto the third step of the Superstock podium. They wound up the season with another Superstock win in the final race, the 12 Hours of Estoril, this past weekend.
It was their second FIM Endurance World Cup win for Italian rider Roberto Rolfo and Swiss rider Robin Mulhauser, who featured in the Moto Ain line-up last season. Frenchman Hugo Clère joined them this season to claim the 2019-2020 Cup.
Moto Ain team manager Pierre Chapuis outlines the reasons for their success. “It’s mainly because the riders and mechanics are totally in tune with each other,” he says. “You could see that during our last pitstop at Estoril, when the riders did their own refuelling. Everyone’s up for that sort of thing – we can be laid-back, have a bit of a laugh, while at the same time going about things very seriously and not leaving anything up to chance. Our consistency also made the difference this season. We took three wins and one third-place finish over four races. We were never off the podium, whereas our rivals fluctuated in the course of the season.”
Having chalked up two Superstock World Cup wins, Moto Ain’s goal is obviously to move up into the EWC class of the world championship. But it is quite a steep step up and will depend to a great extent on support from their partners.
“We’re working on it,” says Chapuis. “I thought we’d manage it this season but, in the end, it wasn’t possible. It takes 5 to 6 times the Superstock budget to run a good season in EWC. The bikes are costlier, and they’re more expensive in terms of maintenance and tyre use too. I’m very happy with our partnership with Michelin. We’ve worked on the consistency, life span and stability of the tyres. It all depends on what Michelin offer us next season.”