F.C.C. TSR Honda France have won the 8 Hours of Oschersleben, consolidating their lead in the 2017-2018 FIM EWC provisional standings. The Japanese team finished an epic race ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki, who pipped GMT94 Yamaha to the runner-up spot. Tati Team Beaujolais Racing held off some very fierce competition to win their first FIM Superstock World Cup.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France notched up their second win of the season and are now a serious contender for the world title with a 10-point lead over GMT94 Yamaha ahead of the grand finale: the Suzuka 8 Hours.
After F.C.C. TSR Honda France took the lead halfway through the race, riders Freddy Foray, Josh Hook and Alan Techer firmly retained command all the way to the finish. Freddy Foray and later Josh Hook were the only two riders to add their names to the roll call of the fastest race laps in Germany; Josh Hook completed a 1:27.149 lap. The Japanese team also excelled in terms of fuel strategy. They were the last to refuel, making one less pit stop than their rivals.
A crazy race
The race in Germany was truly epic from start to finish. The battle for runner-up position played out in the final few seconds of the race between Team SRC Kawasaki (Mathieu Gines, Randy de Puniet and Jérémy Guarnoni) and GMT94 Yamaha (David Checa, Mike Di Meglio and Niccolò Canepa). Randy de Puniet in the saddle of the Kawasaki bested Mike Di Meglio, who crashed but still managed to finish in third place. GMT94 Yamaha had been delayed in the early part of the race by a stop-and-go penalty for non-compliant refuelling (lights on).
BMW-mounted NRT48 once again earned themselves a praiseworthy spot at the foot of the podium, with Kenny Foray, Stefan Kerschbaumer and Lucy Glöckner featuring among the front-runners throughout the race. They finished ahead of Maco Racing Team, who notched up their finest result this season with riders Anthony Dos Santos, Louis Bulle and Alex Plancassagne.
Superstocks in a frenzy
The Superstock battle played out in the Top 10. Moto Ain – 6th past the finish line – was the winner in this class. Roberto Rolfo, Alexis Masbou and Christoffer Bergman also won the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy for privateer teams using Dunlop tyres. Yamaha-mounted Moto Ain finished ahead of Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki (Hugo Clère, Alex Sarrabayrouse and Louis Rossi) and Tati Team Beaujolais Racing. The Kawasaki-mounted team comprising Julien Pilot, Julien Enjolras and Kevin Denis won the FIM Superstock World Cup for the very first time in Germany.
Favourites get unlucky
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team finished 10th, unusually for them, even though Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black did everything they could to make up for lost time after Vincent Philippe crashed out early on in the race following Gregg Black’s holeshot.
The race in Germany also saw YART Yamaha’s Marvin Fritz crash out spectacularly halfway through the race when the team were lapping in 2nd place, forcing them to withdraw.
It was a disappointing race for Honda Endurance Racing too. After lapping steadily in 5th place, the British team dropped back to 13th at the finish when Greg Leblanc crashed towards the tail end of the race.
Next race on the calendar: the Suzuka 8 Hours, the grand finale of the 2017-2018 FIM EWC in Japan on 29 July.