After 16 hours: YART’s night riders lose Le Mans EWC lead after crash

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After 16 Hours: Yart’s Night Riders Lose Le Mans Ewc Lead After CrashYamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team’sdominance of the FIM Endurance World Championship season-opening 24 Heures Motos is over after a heavy crash for Karel Hanika just when it looked set to reach the 16-hour points-paying mark in front.

Having claimed EWC title gold in 2023, YART riders Niccolò Canepa, Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika were four laps ahead of the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team trio of Sylvain Guintoli, Illya Mykhalchyk and Markus Reiterberger prior to the final eight hours of unmissable EWC racing getting under way.

As was the case after eight hours, points were handed out to the top 10 in both Formula EWC and Superstock following 16 hours of action. But it was Yoshimura SERT Motul that bagged the 10 points for taking an unlikely lead as BMW completed a longer pitstop and YART’s mechanics spent 18 minutes repairing the damaged #1 Yamaha.

Suzuki-powered Yoshimura SERT Motul had demoted Kawasaki Webike Trickstar for third shortly after 03h00 during its charging recover after a traction control issue caused Gregg Blackto crash nearing the end of the third hour.

The YART, BMW and Kawasaki teams were classified in second, third and fourth respectively after 16 hours, although YART has subsequently slipped to fourth.

Honda-powered Tati Team Beringer Racing is fifth behind the delayed YART team to make it five different motorcycle manufacturers in the top five after 16 hours.

Team Bolliger Switzerland is in sixth place among the Formula EWC squads followed by BMRT3D maxxess Nevers, which is stepping up to the EWC’s top tier in 2024.

Motobox Kremer Racing is eighth with its all-German rider line-up followed by F.C.C. TSR Honda France, which continues to fight back following Mike Di Meglio’s heavy crash in the second hour. Wójcik Racing Team EWC was the 10th best Formula EWC team after 16 hours.

Having held third on Saturday evening, KM99 dropped out of contention due to lengthy pitstops shortly before and after midnight. Maco Racing was delayed by a crash at 03h22.

Superstock superstars headed by National Motos Honda
Having led after eight hours to score 10 points, FIM Endurance World Cup pole-sitter National Motos Honda picked up another 10 points by reaching 16 hours in front in the Dunlop-equipped Superstock division following a strong display from the French squad’s riders Guillaume Raymond and the Suchet brothers Sébastien and Valentin. “It’s difficult to ride but our objective is to finish so we don’t push,” Sébastien Suchet said.

Chromeburner-RAC41-Honda continues to occupy second place with 3ART Best of Bikemoving up from fifth after eight hours to third spot with 16 hours. The Yamaha team benefitted from a race-ending crash for Team Slider Endurance and a delay for Team Aviobike by M2 Revo, which is giving the Aprilia make its EWC return this season.

Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team has fought back to fourth in class after Hannes Soomercrashed heavily at 22h35. Behind the recovering Team Aviobike by M2 Revo, Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki is sixth with EWC newcomer TCP Racing seventh despite a crash at 05h36. JMA Racing Action Bike is the next best-placed permanent Superstock team followed by TRT27 AZ Moto and Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers CMS Motostore, which was delayed by a heavy crash at 04h16.

ADSS97s pursuit of a top 10 finish ended in the 15th hour following engine failure. Team Étoile, which is competing in the EWC for the first time, was third in class when Yudai Kameicrashed at high speed through the Garage Vert corner at 04h43. Honda No Limits was forced to retire at 02h00 following an earlier crash for Alexis Masbou. Team Players, Team 202 and Wójcik Racing Team STK all lost time with crashes, including two for Gino Rea, who is making his return to racing after suffering serious injuries in a crash while practicing for the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2022. The Honda-powered Wójcik outfit has also been delayed by electronic issues.

Alt: Honda Viltaïs Racing “didn’t deserve” early retirement
Florian Alt
said his Honda Viltaïs Racing team “didn’t deserve” the engine failure that robbed it of a possible podium finish in the second hour of the 24 Heures Motos. The top independent team in the FIM Endurance World Championship had been in third place during the early stages of the race.

“I’m really, really not happy because we didn’t deserve it, we didn’t have any issues in the test, we didn’t have any issues last year and this time it was some material which was not in our hands,” German rider Alt said. “I am really sorry for the mechanics, they did an amazing job, they rebuilt the engine in two hours to try to continue but actually it was impossible. We were so fast, it was just bad luck but we will come back for sure.”

Title-winning Team 33 Louit April Moto out of luck
There was early disappointment for Team 33 Louit April Moto, which was beginning the defence of its FIM Endurance World Cup title in Le Mans but was forced to retire with a mechanical failure shortly after 19h30. Guillaume Antiga, part of its four-strong Kawasaki-powered line-up, said: “After the crash of my team-mate Flavio [Ferroni] the radiator is broken and the bike temperature is too much and it’s not possible to continue the race.”

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