Josh Hook and F.C.C. TSR Honda win 8H of Oschersleben
Broc Parkes and YART record DNF
Aussie Josh Hook and the F.C.C. TSR Honda France Team won the 8 Hours of Oschersleben, strengthening their grip on the FIM EWC Championship while doing so, and now leading GMT94 Yamaha by 10 points.
The F.C.C. TSR 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.
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.
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).
David Checa – GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team
“I’m really proud of the team after this race, we worked really hard to get to the podium here in Oschersleben. As always in Endurance racing, anything can happen, and today many things did! We had safety cars that made it difficult to have a distance to our rivals, the first made it almost impossible to win and the second also meant we would have to fight. In the end we were lucky to finish on the podium, both Mike and Niccolò did a great job and the team worked had all weekend so we do deserve this. Now we go to Suzuka to fight again.”
Christophe Guyot – GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team
“Of course we made a little mistake, and had a penalty with the stop and go as a result. The first safety car allowed Honda to save one pit-stop and the second allowed Kawasaki to be just with us. So there was a big fight between Randy de Puniet and Mike, Mike crashed; this is racing. Fortunately he was able to cross the line so we are on the podium. The bike worked very well, the pace was very good and the team performed perfectly. The Dunlop tyres worked really well in the hot temperatures, they made a big step. We are lucky because the bike had big damage but Mike was able to make the half lap and cross the line at the end so we can be very happy. Now we are looking forward to Suzuka we are ready to fight, we never give up and we will see what is possible. A big thank you to David, Mike and Niccolò for their efforts and the whole team for their hard work.”
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.
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.
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.
Slovakia Ring race winners YART Yamaha EWC arrived in Oschersleben determined to continue their race winning form make up for the less than perfect race experience of last year. With much improved tyre choices riders Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Max Neukirchner were confident of striking out for the podium. Unfortunately for the team luck was not theirs, and again they were face with big challenges.
An overheating radiator with subsequent water leak caused Marvin to crash on the slippery liquid, the impact of the crash then causing the YZF-R1 to catch fire on a section of track where no fire extinguisher was immediately available. In true Endurance style Fritz was still able to get his R1 back to the garage where the team spent some considerable time working to return the machine to a race ready state. Ultimately the battle was lost and Team Director Mandy Kainz made the decision to stop, keeping the safety of the riders foremost in his mind.
Broc Parkes – YART Yamaha Official EWC Team
“We were in a good position and at the front the race at the beginning, then obviously things went the wrong way. I’m really upset, it was difficult to win but the podium was possible and definitely there for us, I think we could have been second. The problems we had were totally out of our control so it’s frustrating for us to finish like this. I’m looking forward to doing a good job in Suzuka, thank you to all the team and Marvin and Max for everyone’s hard work this weekend.”
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.
8 Hours EWC Oschersleben Result
F.C.C. TSR Honda France Honda – 08:00:49.802
TEAM SRC KAWASAKI Kawasaki – 08:01:38.157
GMT94 YAMAHA Yamaha – 08:02:42.869
NRT48 BMW – 08:02:05.979
MACO RACING Team Yamaha – 08:02:19.553
MOTO AIN Yamaha – 08:01:23.081
Junior Team LMS Suzuki Suzuki – 08:01:22.773
Tati Team Beaujolais Racing Kawasaki – 08:02:00.311
No Limits Motor Team Suzuki – 08:02:12.555
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki – 08:01:55.990
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.