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The new face of the EWC

The new face of the EWC

30/08/2017 22:44

The new FIM EWC season has just got off to a start at Castellet with the Bol d’Or pre-tests on 29 and 30 August. This initial set of tests before the opening round of the FIM EWC on the Paul Ricard circuit on 16 and 17 September offers early insights into the major changes in the new 2017-2018 season.

Cruising on the past season’s momentum, Yamaha has left its line-up unchanged at both GMT94 Yamaha (the reigning world champion with riders David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Mike Di Meglio) and YART Yamaha Official EWC Team (Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Kohta Nozane), but there have been some transformations concerning the competition.

Front-runner Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, with 15 world titles to its credit, is finally entering the new GSX-R 1000. The beaming face of the French factory-backed Suzuki team’s stalwart Vincent Philippe when he got off the new machine spoke volumes about its performance. According to his teammate Etienne Masson, the quality of their 2017 bike’s chassis and engine will give the team a fighting chance at reconquering the title. Another change at SERT is the arrival of Gregg Black following some noteworthy performances these past few seasons with Team April Moto Motors Events and then with F.C.C. TSR Honda. As a result, the Japanese team has also rejigged its line-up, which now features Australian rider Josh Hook, the 3rd-place winner at the Suzuka 8 Hours, and Frenchmen Alan Techer and Freddy Foray (previously with Honda Endurance Racing).

British squad Honda Endurance Racing backed by Honda Europe has therefore also gone through a shake-up. Sébastien Gimbert will be riding for them this season with Gregory Leblanc, who had switched to Team April Moto Motors Events after several years wearing the Kawasaki SRC colours, and MotoGP and Moto2 rider Yonny Hernandez, who is making his Endurance debut. Also on the Honda front, Baptiste Guittet has joined Team April Motos Motors Events alongside Matthieu Lagrive and Grégory Fastré.

Bolliger Team Switzerland will also have a new make-up. Roman Stamm, the mainstay of this private Kawasaki-mounted Swiss team, will be riding this season alongside David Perret and FIM Supersport world championship rider Robin Mulhauser. And Ecurie Chrono Sport has showed renewed ambition by hiring Louis Rossi, who joined the private French team at the tail end of the past season. A former Moto2 rider, Louis Rossi will team up with two former Moto3 riders, Alexis Masbou and Matteo Ferrari – the latter also rides the Italian Superbike championship.

The first official Bol d’Or 2017 tests will be held on Thursday 14 September on the Paul Ricard circuit.

The 12 best lap times on Bol d’Or pre-tests (unofficial)
(Suzuki Endurance Racing Team without transponder)

YART Yamaha 1’58.252
Team SRC Kawasaki 1’58.350
F.C.C. TSR Honda 1’58.563
Honda Endurance Racing 1’58.827
GMT94 Yamaha 1’59.554
Team Tecmas BMW 1’59.564
Yamaha Viltais Experiences 2’00.449
Team 33 Louit Moto 2’00.971
Bolliger Team Kawasaki 2’01.324
Ecurie Chrono Sport 69 2’01.357
BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers 2’01.543
Tati Team Beaujolais Racing 2’01.564

 

Women racers

22/09/2017 18:36 - 2017-2018, Bol d'Or

Female riders are in the spotlight right now. Lucy Glöckner’s battle for the podium galvanized the end of the Bol d’Or last weekend. But she wasn’t the only woman rider to enter the fray. The all-female Girls Racing Team (Amandine Creusot, Jolanda Van Westrenen and Muriel Simorre) finished the race too, and so did Flam Racing’s female rider Margaux Wanham.

Female riders are in the spotlight right now. Lucy Glöckner’s battle for the podium galvanized the end of the Bol d’Or last weekend. But she wasn’t the only woman rider to enter the fray. The all-female Girls Racing Team (Amandine Creusot, Jolanda Van Westrenen and Muriel Simorre) finished the race too, and so did Flam Racing’s female rider Margaux Wanham.

Fourth past the finish line at the Bol d’Or, Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC galvanized the end of the race. The private BMW team’s rider Lucy Glöckner fought an epic duel with permanent team Honda Endurance Racing’s Sébastien Gimbert, who made third place by a whisker. Glöckner’s spectacular feat won the German team the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy and €5,000 in prize money.

Fourth past the finish line at the Bol d’Or, Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC galvanized the end of the race. The private BMW team’s rider Lucy Glöckner fought an epic duel with permanent team Honda Endurance Racing’s Sébastien Gimbert, who made third place by a whisker. Glöckner’s spectacular feat won the German team the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy and €5,000 in prize money.

Racing the Bol d’Or as a two-man team on a current-day bike is quite a challenge. But when their 3rd rider withdrew after qualifying, National Motos decided to go ahead anyway with just Emeric Jonchière and Stéphane Egéa.

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.

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.

Reigning champion GMT94 Yamaha has won the Bol d’Or for the first time since 2007. The French factory-backed team clinched the victory ahead of Wepol BMW Motorrad Team by Penz13 and Honda Endurance Racing. The latter two teams staged a historic finish, with a duel between Sébastien Gimbert and female rider Lucy Glöckner of Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC.

Reigning champion GMT94 Yamaha has won the Bol d’Or for the first time since 2007. The French factory-backed team clinched the victory ahead of Wepol BMW Motorrad Team by Penz13 and Honda Endurance Racing. The latter two teams staged a historic finish, with a duel between Sébastien Gimbert and female rider Lucy Glöckner of Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC.

21 hours into the race at the Bol d’Or, Tati Team Beaujolais Racing is battling for the Superstock win. The French Kawasaki-mounted team is currently in 5th place, dominating the Superstock class.