YART Yamaha maintain lead at Estoril
A tight fight is still on at the front halfway through the 12 Hours of Estoril as a chasing pack attempts to topple leader YART Yamaha.
Despite a problematic start from pole and a minor scare due to a broken footpeg, the Austrian factory Yamaha team are still leading the race and lapping at a very strong pace. Karel Hanika has posted the fastest race lap for YART Yamaha, a 1:39.904.
Behind YART Yamaha, F.C.C. TSR Honda France, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar are locked in a fierce battle. Anything is still possible for these four teams, all targeting the win. As things stand at the halfway mark, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who are bearing up under pressure, would claim the 2019-2020 FIM Endurance World Championship title.
The 12 Hours of Estoril is also turning out to be a thrilling manufacturers’ battle between Bridgestone (Yamaha and Honda), Dunlop (Suzuki) and Michelin (Kawasaki).
The top two independent teams, Wójcik Racing Team and VRD Igol Pierret Experiences, are still hot on the heels of the leaders in 6th and 7th place ahead of Moto Ain, the fastest Superstock machine. At this stage, Moto Ain would claim a fresh FIM Endurance World Cup victory.
The Top 10 ranking 6 hours into the race includes 3ART Best of Bike, LRP Poland and Aviobike. BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team are currently eleventh, having climbed back up from the bottom of the rankings. The factory BMW team dominated the beginning of the race before they crashed at the start of the second hour.
Hats off to JMA Motos Action Bike and National Motos, who have made it into the Top 15 although both are riding as two-man teams.
Two of the high profile-teams were forced to retire due to crashes: ERC Endurance (Ducati) dropped out in the very first hour while Bolliger Team Switzerland (Kawasaki) retired in the fourth hour.