National Motos is back

National Motos is back

15/03/2017 19:04

After a season without racing, National Motos will once again be at the start of the 24 Heures Motos on 15 April, with the Honda #55 in the capable hands of Emeric Jonchière, Nicolas Salchaud and Japanese rider Hikari Okubo, Jules Cluzel’s World Supersport teammate.

One of the most iconic teams of the 24 Heures Motos, National Motos, is back in the race after missing out last season, with its sights set firmly on the podium. The team, run by the well-known Paris region dealership of the same name, will have Endurance old hands Emeric Jonchière and Nicolas Salchaud riding the new CBR1000RR, together with Japanese rider Hikari Okubo. A Moto2 rider, Hikari Okubo is also Jules Cluzel’s teammate in the FIM Supersport world championship this season. He finished 10th at the 2016 Suzuka 8 Hours, riding the Honda Teluru Kohara RT with Damian Cudlin and Kosuke Akiyoshi. With that line-up, National Motos is making no secret of its goal: a podium place.

An enduring saga
Having competed in Endurance since 1971, National Motos is a 24 Heures Motos stalwart. Since it was set up by Pipo Baldit, the National Motos team has missed only two editions of the 24 Heures Motos – in 2001 and 2016. When Pipo passed away in late 2012, his son Stéphane and the National Motos crew continued the challenge launched in the 1970s by the team’s founder: getting into the fray and fighting for a win amid the factory-backed teams.

National Motos has done very well for a private team. The squad won its first podium place at the 1992 24 Heures Motos, finishing third with Guy Bertin, Adrien Morillas and Arnaud de Puniet (MotoGP rider Randy’s father).

Honda National Motos achieved the ultimate feat – an outright win – at the 24 Heures Motos in 2006 with riders Frédéric Protat, Olivier Four and Dani Ribalta.

Next chapter of the story on 16 April.

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.