YART Yamaha in the lead at Estoril
YART Yamaha are in the lead two hours into the 12 Hours of Estoril, ahead of F.C.C. TSR Honda France, Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, provisional standings leader.
YART Yamaha are leading the field at Estoril. Despite a starting problem on the grid, Marvin Fritz soon propelled YART Yamaha into the leading trio, then overtook Mike di Meglio in the saddle of the F.C.C. TSR Honda France bike. The Austrian Yamaha team took command following a crash for BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team’s Peter Hickman, who had just begun his stint.
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team had tackled the initial part of the race at a cracking pace set by Markus Reiterberger, who posted the fastest race lap, a 1:39.923.
A smooth first handover enabled David Checa to take Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar into the foursome in the lead in the wake of a first refuelling stop with no changing of the Michelin tyres. The Kawasaki team are locked in a duel with Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who played it safe at the start of the race.
Taking into account the bonus points awarded to the teams occupying the top 5 spots on the starting grid and the teams in the first 10 positions 8 hours into the race, plus the 52.5 points awarded to the winner, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team need to stay in the Top 5 to maintain their chances of winning the world title.
The first 15 minutes of the race also saw a crash by Louis Rossi, who was in the Top 5 in the saddle of the Ducati ERC Endurance bike. A tyre puncture appears to have caused the crash, which forced ERC Endurance to retire: the Panigale V4R was too damaged.