YART Yamaha’s victory following Niccolò Canepa’s outstanding solo performance in the saddle of the Austrian squad’s R1 was the highlight of the first edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang. Mandy Kainz’s team pocketed the 30 points on offer for the win in Malaysia, rocketing from 11th to 4th place in the 2019-2020 FIM EWC provisional standings.
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team continued their flawless ascent following their debut outing at the Bol d’Or in September. The Belgian factory-backed team once again finished on the third step of the podium with riders Ilya Mykhalchyk and Markus Reiterberger, moving up in the process to the number two spot in the championship standings 15 points behind the leader, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team still lead championship
The Suzuki factory team finished 5th at the 8 Hours of Sepang, but remain at the top of the provisional standings after two races. Webike SRC Kawasaki France took a similarly cautious approach to the tricky track conditions at Sepang and finished 6th. The 2018-2019 FIM EWC title winner collected precious points, but will now have to target the win at the 24 Heures Motos to defend their title.
3ART Moto Team 95, once again among the Top 10 race finishers, are in 5th place in the championship standings ahead of another Yamaha-mounted team, VRD Igol Pierret Experiences. The latter would have made it into the Top 10 at Sepang if they had not suffered a crash towards the end of the race.
Successful maiden outing for Ducati
The FIM EWC’s newly Ducati-backed squad Team ERC Endurance had a successful maiden outing at Sepang. The German team running a Panigale V4R finished the race in 10th place, scoring their first championship points into the bargain.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France got off to a great start at the 8 Hours of Sepang. Third on the starting grid, the team took and kept the lead even after a crash caused by a collision with the Yamaha Sepang Racing bike. However, the Japanese team lost any chance of a win after a second crash at the tail end of the race. The 2017-2018 FIM EWC winners are 12th in the provisional standings, 54 points from the leader.
Crashes also put paid to the hopes of some other teams. Maco Racing Team finished outside the points after a crash that cost them their 18th place. Tati Team Beaujolais Racing also lost ground because of a late-stage crash, but scored one championship point.
After a flamboyant duel for 2nd place early in the race, Tecmas BMW GMC and Suzuki JEG Kagayama fell victim to technical issues: engine failure for BMW Tecmas and a hard-to-spot faulty fuse for Suzuki JEG. A mechanical issue also forced Wójcik Racing Team to throw in the towel at Sepang. The Polish team retain 3rd place in the provisional standings thanks to their superb performance at the Bol d’Or, the season’s opening round.
Moto Ain lead Superstock standings
Yamaha also took the Superstock win at Sepang. Moto Ain (Yamaha) reign supreme in the FIM Endurance World Cup after a second win in this category. Moreover, the team managed by Pierre Chapuis finished at the foot of the podium ahead of several factory teams. Moto Ain also claimed the top spot among the independent teams ahead of Wójcik Racing Team.
Moto Ain already have a 35-point lead over BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers in the FIM World Cup standings. The Kawasaki-mounted team lost out on a Superstock podium finish at Sepang due to a crash towards the end of the race. The German BMW-mounted team GERT56 by GS Yuasa made it into the Top 3 in the provisional standings by dint of wresting a 2nd-place finish at Sepang from Tone RT Syncedge 4413 BMW. Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto, No Limits Motor Team and Rac 41 also ran a fine race in Malaysia.
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