Test of strength on the cards in Germany

2018-06-06T17:07:57+02:00June 6th, 2018|2017-2018, 8 Hours of Oschersleben 2018|

Considering what’s at stake, and the varying ambitions of the FIM EWC’s front-runners, we can expect some highly charged and eventful racing at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben this coming weekend. Honda and Yamaha are in a head to head for top spot, but BMW will be looking to shine on home terrain, while Suzuki and Kawasaki are bent on making a comeback.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France arrive in Oschersleben at the top of the 2017-2018 FIM EWC standings, but the Yamaha clan is closing ranks to bar their way to the world title. The Japanese team finds itself sandwiched between the two factory Yamaha squads. In the saddle of the Honda #5, Freddy Foray, Alan Techer and Josh Hook will have to stand up to the pressure to finish ahead of GMT94 Yamaha at Oschersleben and thereby hold on their position as leader before the Suzuka 8 Hours, the season’s grand finale.

Another formidable rival, YART Yamaha (winner of last month’s 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring) is targeting a fresh win with riders Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Max Neukirchner. The Austrian team no longer stands a chance of winning the world title, having failed to score at the Bol d’Or and the 24 Heures Motos. With nothing at stake, they can let it rip in going after the win. GMT94 Yamaha, the reigning world champion, finished second after YART Yamaha in Slovakia. Currently just one point behind F.C.C. TSR Honda France, the French squad’s David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Mike Di Meglio will have to beat the Japanese team to take over the championship lead.

Another CBR 1000 RR will also muscle its way into the battle for the lead. After gaining a podium spot at the Bol d’Or and the 24 Heures Motos and placing 4th in Slovakia, Honda Endurance Racing is playing on two fronts: a win at Oschersleben with riders Sébastien Gimbert, Gregory Leblanc and Erwan Nigon and a place in the 2017-2018 FIM EWC’s Top 3.

BMW on home ground
In Germany, the two top BMW teams will be looking to shine on home ground. The S1000RR-mounted teams NRT48 and Mercury Racing finished 5th and 6th respectively in Slovakia. The factory-backed German team NRT48 will be fielding Kenny Foray, Stefan Kerschbaumer and Lucy Glöckner at Oschersleben, and has already made its ambitions for the championship final in Suzuka clear by announcing an all-new line-up comprising Kenny Foray, Peter Hickman and Julien Da Costa.

Currently 5th in the provisional standings, Mercury Racing also has big ambitions at Oschersleben with its all-Czech line-up: Karel Hanika, Jakub Smrž and Matej Smrž.

Suzuki and Kawasaki set on making a comeback
After being dogged by recurring brake problems with their new GSX-R 1000 this season, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black) are keen to get back on the podium. Another top-tier team capable of pulling off an impressive feat in Germany after a difficult season is Team SRC Kawasaki. Mathieu Gines, Randy de Puniet and Jérémy Guarnoni have been charged with making that happen. Bolliger Team Switzerland, which scored a 4th-place finish at last year’s 8 Hours of Oschersleben, will also be flying the Kawasaki colours.

The first official tests of the 8 Hours of Oschersleben start tomorrow (Thursday) 7 June at 10am CEST at Oschersleben’s Motorsport Arena. The race will be held on Saturday 9 June from 1pm to 9pm.

Follow the 8 Hours of Oschersleben on the website fimewc.com, via the live timing www.fimewc.com/live-timing, on Facebook, Twitter and the new FIM EWC mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones.

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