76,000 spectators watched a spectacular Le Mans 24 Hour on the weekend, the second round of the 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship.
Video – 2019 Le Mans 24 Hour Start
ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance Team started the race from pole position but a poor start put them behind the eight-ball and they never really recovered.
Heartbreak too for YART Yamaha. A machine failure cost them any chances of a good result while reigning World Endurance Champions F.C.C. TSR witnessed Mike DiMeglio crash their Fireblade SP2, the first of a few troubles for the squad.
Broc Parkes – YART Yamaha EWC Team
“I had really good pace in all my stints and I felt really strong, but our race was done after just 10 hours. Endurance can be cruel sometimes! Now we need to put the disappointment of Le Mans behind us and focus on the next race at the Slovakia Ring, as it’s a good circuit for us and one at which we won last year.”
Video – YART Engine Failure
Onboard with Marvin Fritz
F.C.C. TSR Honda fought back to eighth in the race’s ranking before encountering another issue in which the complete brake system had to be changed and replaced. When they finall got back out on track Freddy Foray then collided with another rider in a racing incident. The bike slid along the track which damaged the engine covers and the engine lost oil as a result. The team still kept on working hard to not only fix the hole, but to replace some engine internals, which meant another loss of two hours in the pits.
The team even then never gave up and sent the bike back out with no chance of having a shot for world championship points, but to “fulfil” the spirit of endurance by finishing the race.
Other high qualifiers VRD Igol Pierret Experiences and GERT56 by GS Yuasa also suffered similar fates.
That notwithstanding the 42nd edition of the 24 heures Motos will be remembered as a 24-hour edge-of-seat duel on the track.
Honda Endurance Racing’s Randy De Puniet and Team SRC Kawasaki France’s Jérémy Guarnoni rocketed away from the grid. The teams continued battle with Yonny Hernandez and Jérémy Guarnoni in the respective saddles after a rider change.
Team SRC Kawasaki France with Jérémy Guarnoni, David Checa and Erwan Nigon ‘s determination to shake off Honda’ s Endurance Racing ‘s Randy de Puniet, Yonny Hernández and Sébastien Gimbert.
Team SRC Kawasaki France’s victory will be one of the closest-fought and most gripping one in Endurance history to date. Kawasaki has a memorable duel with Honda Endurance Racing.
Le Mans 24 Hour Video – Closing Stages
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team finished third in a thriller of a race.
Their amazing duel overshadowed a third-place finish by Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who got back on the podium for their team manager Dominique Meliand’s last-ever 24 Hours race. Suzuki’s riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black finishing on the same lap as the leading duo.
Wepol Racing (Yamaha), Bolliger Team Switzerland (Kawasaki), 3ART-Moto Team 95 (Yamaha) and National Motos (Honda) also pulled off praiseworthy performances to finish 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th respectively, more than 10 laps behind the three squads leading the race at a scorching pace.
Motors Events seventh place finish gave them victory in the Superstock class. Their strong comeback and determination to chase the win at Le Mans have earned them the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy. Motors Events also won the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy.
James Westmoreland, Johan Nigon and Adrien Ganfornina rode the Suzuki # 50, finishing ahead of Yamaha Ain Moto (Robin Mulhauser, Roberto Rolfo and Stefan Hill) and Kawasaki-mounted Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto (Enzo Boulom, Chris Leesch and Kevin Manfredi).
Thanks to their win, Team SRC Kawasaki France has gone to the forefront of the provisional standings of the 2018-2019 FIM EWC, ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.
2019 Le Mans 24 Hours Results
TEAM SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE – EWC 839 laps – 24:00:54.139
Honda Endurance Racing Honda – EWC 839 laps – 24:01:54.689
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki – EWC 838 laps – 24:01:08.610
WEPOL Racing Yamaha – EWC 828 laps – 24:00:56.861
Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki – EWC 827 laps – 24:02:19.550
3ART- MOTO TEAM 95 Yamaha – EWC 822 laps – 24:02:36.039
MOTORS EVENTS Suzuki – SST DIT 821 laps – 24:01:11.430
National Motos Honda – EWC 821 laps – 24:02:05.048
MOTO AIN Yamaha – SST DIT 818 laps – 24:01:17.039
Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto Kawasaki – SST 816 laps – 24:01:15.537
FANY GASTRO BMW MOTORRAD- by ME… BMW – EWC 812 laps – 24:01:09.587
Wójcik Racing Team Yamaha – EWC DIT 808 laps – 24:01:12.871
Junior Team LMS Suzuki Suzuki – SST 808 laps – 24:01:36.144
OG MOTORSPORT BY SARAZIN Yamaha – SST DIT 807 laps – 24:02:23.814
Motobox Kremer Racing #65 Yamaha – EWC 806 laps – 24:02:23.008
AM Moto Racing Competition Kawasaki – SST DIT 804 laps – 24:02:15.823
BMRT 3D MACCIO RACING Kawasaki – SST DIT 802 laps – 24:02:12.350
PITLANE ENDURANCE Yamaha – SST DIT 801 laps – 24:01:14.322
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