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The manufacturers’ race

The manufacturers’ race

19/09/2017 16:33

Endurance racing is a multi-faceted sport with extraordinary appeal. The prowess of the riders, teams, machines and tyre manufacturers all contribute to the excitement of the FIM EWC world championship, and this was amply demonstrated at the Bol d’Or.

The Pirelli-shod Kawasaki SRC dominated qualifying, taking pole and posting the fastest race lap. Wepol BMW Motorrad Team by Penz13, which claimed the second step of the podium, also uses Pirelli tyres.

An official tyre supplier to the FIM EWC since 2016, Bridgestone equipped the F.C.C. TSR Honda France bike, which stayed consistently at the front end of the race. After battling for more than 17 hours at the Bol d’Or, the Japanese team took the lead on Sunday morning on the Paul Ricard circuit.

Two Dunlop-shod teams, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and GMT94 Yamaha, staged a thrilling duel during the last eight hours of the race. Winner GMT94 Yamaha took Dunlop to the top step of the podium, while Honda Endurance Racing, another Dunlop user, climbed on the third step.
Honda Endurance Racing snatched the third place during the last few minutes of the race from the jaws of Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC, a private German BMW team which has also opted for Dunlop tyres.

BMW tops constructors’ standings
So, as far as tyre suppliers go, the FIM EWC is wide open. The constructor championship is also opening up. Yamaha was first past the finish line, but with Wepol BMW Motorrad Team by Penz13 taking second place and Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC just missing the podium, BMW (57 points) went to the head of the constructors’ standings, ahead of Yamaha (50 points) and Honda (47 points). Suzuki and Kawasaki notched up 28 points each.

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events and FIM EWC promoter
In a first for a 24-hour race, the Bol d’Or enabled Honda and Suzuki’s new machines to express all their potential. The new CBR1000RR and GSX-R 1000 demonstrated that they will be formidable adversaries for Yamaha, BMW and Kawasaki. The intensified competition between tyre suppliers this season is another very positive sign, as it takes the FIM EWC to a higher level of technology and sport. Team SRC Kawasaki’s pole and fastest race lap were proof that Pirelli had come to the Paul Ricard circuit armed with very high-performance tyres. And it was the first time in a 24-hour race that Bridgestone was in the lead four hours from the finish with F.C.C. TSR Honda France. However, the Dunlop-GMT94 Yamaha combo’s performance proved to be the most consistently high-level in this tough and very fast race over 3,955 km. The EWC must remain an event where every constructor and tyre manufacturer can demonstrate the value of their products, all the way from racing to series production. Tough, demanding races like the Bol d’Or offer a fantastic showcase for their technology.”

Italian team No Limits Motor Team has strengthened its rider line-up to take another shot at the Superstock podium. Michael Mazzina, Luca Scassa and Christian Gamarino will be riding the Suzuki #44.

The Endurance world championship is spreading its wings in Italy. FIM EWC promoter Eurosport Events has just signed a broadcast rights agreement with Corsedimoto.com and AutomotoTV.

Last season’s FIM EWC Superstock World Cup winner Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences will be fielding a new team at the 24 Heures Motos.

Moto Ain CRT has put together a strong rider line-up to go after the 2017 FIM EWC Superstock World Cup. Roberto Rolfo, a former 250cc GP runner-up, will shore up Alexis Masbou and Christoffer Bergman on the Yamaha #96.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France is hard at work preparing for the 24 Heures Motos. The Japanese team completed a test on the Okayama circuit, and used the opportunity to show off the new livery of the Honda CBR 1000 RR 2018.

Yamaha Factory has presented its 2018 teams. While GMT94 Yamaha will continue the season with the squad that won the Bol d’Or, YART Yamaha has announced a fresh rider line-up starting from the 24 Heures Motos.