YART Yamaha Claims Victory at Maiden Edition of 8 Hours of Sepang
This is a press release from FIM EWC…
YART Yamaha took the win ahead of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa and BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team in Malaysia at the very first edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang, which proved to be a nerve-racking race due to very bad weather.
After a delayed start followed by track action being suspended due to heavy rain, the first edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang made good on its promise of being an action-packed new FIM Endurance World Championship race. Duels at the front, lead swaps, drama and crashes kept the tension high all through the race on the Malaysian circuit.
YART Yamaha won the day despite an electronics scare in the early stages of the race by steering clear of trouble with Niccolò Canepa as the only Yamaha #7 rider in the saddle throughout the race. The strategy of having a sole fast rider with experience of tricky track conditions in the saddle bore fruit. Broc Parkes and Karel Hanika were however co-credited with the win. “We won it together,” said Niccolò Canepa at the post-race press conference.
YART Yamaha finished ahead of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa, who ran a consistent race in the leading pack with Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi, Thai rider Somkiat Chantra and Indonesian Andi Farid Izdihar. The Japanese team’s cosmopolitan line-up had already done brilliantly in the Top 10 Trial, wresting 2nnd place on the starting grid.
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team claimed their second podium at the 8 Hours of Sepang with riders Ilya Mykhalchyk and Markus Reiterberger after their Bol d’Or podium finish. Kenny Foray sustained an injury in practice and was unable to compete in the race. The Belgian factory-backed team moves up to 2nd place in the FIM EWC provisional standings with a 15-point gap to Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who maintain the lead obtained after their Bol d’Or win.
Superstock winner just short of the podium
Moto Ain steamed steadily ahead throughout the action-packed race to a fourth-place overall finish and another win in the Superstock class. The French Yamaha-mounted team consolidated their lead in the Endurance World Cup with riders Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clère, finishing ahead of both Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Webike SRC Kawasaki France, who struggled in the challenging track conditions.
Moto Ain’s runner-up in the Superstock class was German team GERT56 by GS Yuasa (BMW). Lucy Glöckner, Stefan Kerschbaumer and Pepijn Bijsterbosch finished 14th overall after holding off Japanese team Tone RT Syncedge 4413 BMW until the end. After being delayed by a crash in the early stages, Tomoya Hoshino, Kokoro Atsumi and Takeshi Ishizuka climbed back up to finish their first race outside Japan on the third step of the podium.
Favorites have nerve-racking race
Yamaha Sepang Racing, who dominated qualifying and the early stages of the race, and their chief rival F.C.C. TSR Honda France broke away from the other front-runners to embark on a duel for the lead. A collision involving Mike di Meglio (F.C.C. TSR Honda France) and Michael van der Mark (Yamaha Sepang Racing) knocked both machines to the ground. After a pit stop, Michael van der Mark returned to the track beyond 40th place. By dint of piling up fastest race laps (including a 2:17.817 by Franco Morbidelli), Yamaha Sepang Racing finished 7th ahead of BMW Sepang Racing, 3ART Moto Team 95 (Yamaha) and Team ERC Endurance, who got their Ducati Panigale into the Top 10.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France returned to the lead after the collision, but lost their chance of a win after Mike di Meglio crashed out with one hour left in the race.
Other teams also had a very tough time of it. Suzuki JEG Kagayama were well placed among the top three but lost a lot of ground due to a mechanical issue. A mechanical problem also led to the downfall of Tecmas BMW GMC, who had performed spectacularly in the early part of the race with rider Camille Hédelin clearly at ease on a wet track.
National Motos Win EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy
National Motos have taken its first EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy win. The French Honda-mounted team earned the €4,000 prize for the Dunlop Trophy winner at the first edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang in Malaysia. National Motos finished ahead of RAC 41 and Tati Team Beaujolais Racing. A total €20,000 of prize money was split among the top 10 EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy teams at Sepang.
The first edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang proved to be a tough and testing race due to bad weather in Malaysia. In the saddle of the Honda National Motos bike, Frenchman Valentin Debise and his Japanese teammate Hikari Okubo avoided the pitfalls of riding in wet track conditions in the early stages of the race and took their very first EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy victory. One of endurance racing’s historic teams and the 2006 Bol d’Or winner, National Motos have now returned as a full-season FIM EWC entry. They claimed the €4,000 prize awarded to the winner at Sepang, ahead of another Honda-mounted team, Superstock contender RAC 41 with riders Guillaume Antiga, Wayne Tessels and Maxime Bonnot. RAC 41 received €3,000 in EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy prize money.
A crash delayed Tati Team Beaujolais Racing (Kawasaki) close to the finish of the race. Riders Alan Techer, Kevin Denis and Julien Enjolras won 3rd place in the Dunlop Trophy. Having also earned the 3rd-place finisher’s prize at the Bol d’Or, Tati Team Beaujolais Racing received €2,700 at the 8 Hours of Sepang.
Seven other independent teams using Dunlop tires were awarded prizes at the first edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang. They received amounts ranging from €2,300 down to €500 for the team ranked 10th in the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy.
Renewed for the 5th successive season by FIM EWC Eurosport Events, the organizers of each of the championship’s races and tire manufacturer Dunlop, the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy gives backing to privateer teams using Dunlop tires who do not receive direct support from a constructor. A total amount of €20,000 is awarded in prize money at each of the three 8-hour races. The prize money for each of the two 24-hour races has been raised by €10,000 this season, taking the total prize money on offer to support Dunlop-shod teams to €140,000.
The next FIM EWC race is the 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans April 18-19, 2020.
Click here for all results and standings after the 8 Hours of Sepang 2019