After an epic 8-hour battle filled with drama, YART Yamaha emerged the winners on the Slovakia Ring, ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and F.C.C. TSR Honda France. SERT now lead the world rankings.
The Austrian Yamaha squad have won the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring for the second year in a row. YART Yamaha’s Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa never lost the lead. After battling Honda Endurance Racing and F.C.C. TSR Honda France from the start of the race, they ended up sole leader, a lap ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team. In the saddle of the Suzuki #2, Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black offered their team manager Dominique Méliand another podium after a perfectly executed race.
On the F.C.C. TSR Honda France bike, Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike Di Meglio climbed back up at lightning speed to take the 3rd step of the podium. The Japanese Honda squad – the reigning champions – had slid to the bottom of the rankings, 3 laps behind the leader, after a brake problem in the early part of the race. Mike Di Meglio’s determination saw them leaping up the timesheets. After posting the fastest lap early on, he broke the track record with a 2:03.938 lap.
Wepol Racing (Sheridan Morais, Daniel Webb and Michael Laverty on the Yamaha#13) pipped VRD Igol Pierret Expériences (Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Xavier Siméon on the Yamaha #333) at the post for 4th place. Both teams kept up a fast pace, staying in the Top 10 throughout the race.
A superb Superstock race
The fastest Superstock team were all the way up in 6th place. Another epic battle saw Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki (Louis Rossi, Hugo Clère and Alexis Masbou) win the day in this class, ahead of Kawasaki-mounted BMRT 3D Maccio Racing (Anthony Loiseau, Jimmy Maccio and Jonathan Hardt) and Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto (Enzo Boulom, Chris Leesch and Kevin Manfredi). Four other teams were hot on the heels of the podium finishers: Moto Ain, GERT56 by GS Yuasa, No Limits Motor Team and Wójcik Racing Team 2. An 11th-place finish enabled GERT56 by GS Yuasa to keep the FIM Superstock World Cup lead.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team leads championship
After a lengthy battle for the lead with YART Yamaha, Honda Endurance Racing finished 8th. The British Honda and the Austrian Yamaha had been alternately in the lead for more than 6 hours when Randy de Puniet’s second crash dashed the Honda#111’s hopes of victory.
Three other high-profile teams were forced to throw in the towel at the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring. Team SRC Kawasaki France, Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance and Fany Gastro BMW Motorrad by Mercury Racing withdrew due to mechanical problems. The factory Kawasaki’s withdrawal has thrown the FIM Endurance World Championship wide open, with three different winners in three races. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team now leads the provisional world standings.
Next race on the EWC calendar: the 8 Hours of Oschersleben in Germany on 9 June.