The 43rd edition of the 24 Heures Motos will be flagged off at Le Mans on 29 August. To be held behind closed doors on revised dates because of the global coronavirus pandemic, the third round of the 2019-2020 FIM Endurance World Championship is shaping up to be a race with plenty at stake.
The 2019-2020 FIM EWC gets underway again in France in a month’s time. The teams have been preparing for the race on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans on 29 and 30 August since the 8 Hours of Sepang. They used the six-month-long forced break to tweak and improve their performance, machines and line-ups.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team get to Le Mans as points leader, but some other factory teams are also expected to battle for the win. Equipped, like SERT, with Dunlop tyres, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team are just behind the leader in the provisional standings. YART Yamaha (Bridgestone) too are lying in wait not far behind. Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar are preparing to make up for lost time with their new partner Michelin. F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Bridgestone) will be there with a new CBR 1000 RR R prepared and fine-tuned in Japan. Team ERC Endurance (Michelin) have used the forced break to prepare their Ducati Panigale V4R to tackle its first 24-hour race.
Highly motivated challengers
Besides the factory squads, several other teams intend to compete in the leading pack. Wójcik Racing Team are the most watched, but it will also be worth keeping an eye out for VRD Igol Pierret Experiences, who have a reinforced line-up, Bolliger Team Switzerland and 3ART Best of Bike.
In the Superstock class, Moto Ain will be the team to beat after back-to-back wins in this season’s first two races. That will be the goal of BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers and GERT56 by GS Yuasa, the other podium finishers in the early part of the season. There is no dearth of challengers in this class too, starting with Wójcik Racing Team 2 and No Limits Motor Team.
Crucial race for the championship standings
With a maximum of 65 points available, the 24 Heures Motos could be the tipping point in the championship. The forced revision of the calendar due to the health crisis puts even more at stake, with the Bol d’Or, another 24-hour race, scheduled for the 19 and 20 September before the finale of the 2019-2020 FIM EWC in Suzuka in Japan on 1 November.
The two 24-hour races in particular are decisive in the Superstock class, which does not compete in the Suzuka 8 Hours. A total of 130 points will be available in August and September to seal the FIM Endurance World Cup win.
Live coverage of the 24 Heures Motos
With no spectators at Le Mans, the 24 Heures Motos 2020 will be available to fans via live TV coverage. The race will be broadcast live from start to finish on Eurosport 2 in France and on the other continents. Live coverage will also be available on L’Equipe (France), Hulu/Nippon TV (Japan), Astro (Malaysia), Motortrend (USA) and Sky NZ (New Zealand).
Special segments are also being put together to enable endurance racing fans to get to the heart of the action at the 24 Heures Motos.