Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team’s run of top-two qualifying efforts in the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship is at an end – and it’s all down to bad luck.
The Austrian squad had qualified either first or second during the opening three races of the season. However, its trio of Niccolo Canepà, Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika are set to start tomorrow’s season-deciding Bol d’Or from fourth position after “the guys were just unlucky”, according to Team Manager Mandy Kainz.
“Qualifying has been a little tougher than we expected, just because here at Circuit Paul Ricard, setting a hot lap is all about timing, and between the red flags and the traffic, the guys were just unluck,” Kainz said. “Our qualifying times were not representative of our race pace, and as we saw at the test and in Free Practice, we were strong over the longer stints. The team and riders have been superb all week. We are ready for the race; let’s see what happens.”
Having arrived at Circuit Paul Ricard trailing F.C.C. TSR Honda France by 13 points, scores from qualifying means the gap is now 14 points. But with 75 points still up for grabs during the upcoming 24-hour race, the destination of the FIM Endurance World Championship for Teams remains wide open.
“Fourth is still a good starting point, and we already have two points in the bag,” Kainz said. “Now, our job is simple: go out and win. As we have seen, anything can happen in a 24-hour race, so all we can do is attack and try and win the race, and then we will see what happens with the championship.”