Hickman gets last minute call up for Le Mans
The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team will receive support from a big name in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family at the “24 Heures Motos” in Le Mans (FRA). Peter Hickman (GBR) will be the fourth rider for the #37 BMW S 1000 RR in Le Mans. He joins the team and its three regular riders Kenny Foray (FRA), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER) at short notice.
“I’m really excited to be part of the official BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team this weekend in Le Mans”, said Hickman. “The team is fighting for the world championship and I am privileged to have been asked to contribute to the team. I have raced at three Le Mans 24-hour races before and have also raced at Slovakia, Suzuka and Qatar. So I’m not new to endurance and have always enjoyed the experience. I can’t wait to get out on the bike!”
Hickman and BMW Motorrad Motorsport have enjoyed success together for many years. The 33-year-old has won four races at the Isle of Man TT on the BMW S 1000 RR and has also won the Macau Grand Prix on three occasions.
The Englishman has also enjoyed success on the racetrack with his regular team, Smiths Racing. In the British Superbike Championship (BSB), he has secured one of the six coveted places in the “Showdown” for the title in each of the past three years. He also rode for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team at Donington Park (GBR) in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) in 2019.
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“After the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team’s successful start to its debut season, we have had to wait a very long time to finally go racing again. However, we have used the break to continue to develop the endurance version of our RR. The tests in July at Le Mans were very positive. We are well-equipped and can hardly wait to take on the challenge that is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Anything can happen in endurance racing, so it is difficult to make any predictions before the race. However, we have done our homework and are looking to build on what we achieved at Le Castellet and Sepang.”
The 2020 24 Heures Motos will be flagged off at 12pm this Saturday on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans. Despite the absence of spectators, the teams are all set to race what is the third round of a 2019-2020 FIM Endurance World Championship thrown into utter disarray by the global health crisis. The race will be held closed doors for the first time since 1978, with all participants and organizing staff following strict hygiene precautions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The stakes will be even higher at the 2020 24 Heures Motos following the cancellation of the Bol d’Or and the Suzuka 8 Hours. The season finale will now play out in Portugal on 26 September at the 12 Heures d’Estoril for both the world championship title and the Superstock World Cup.
At the 24 Heures Motos, a maximum of 65 points are available for the win, with bonus points for pole position and for being in the lead 8 hours and 12 hours into the race.
At the 12 Heures d’Estoril, which as the championship final will now benefit from the bonus of 150 per cent of the points at the finish line, another 67.5 points will be available in total: the points for the win, for pole position and for the leader 8 hours into the race.
SERT GSX-R1000 riders Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon currently lead the series – recently revised from five to four rounds after the cancellation of the Suzuka 8 Hour Race in Japan.
There are a mere 15 points separating the top two teams in the provisional rankings, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. The next two teams, Wójcik Racing Team and YART Yamaha, are 31 and 36 points respectively behind the leader. VRD Igol Pierret Experiences, who are 48 points behind, also have strong ambitions, as do some of the factory teams who were unlucky in the early part of the season. Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar are 49 points from the leader and F.C.C. TSR Honda France with Aussie Josh Hook are 54 points behind, while Team ERC Endurance have to make up a 67-point gap to take their Ducati Panigale to the top of the standings.
Thanks to their victory last time out, Mandy Kainz’s Yamaha team return to France for the latest round of the 2020 EWC championship lying fourth in the overall classification, just behind fellow Yamaha squad, Wojcik Racing. The team will be aiming to take more points at this weekend’s event; the YART Yamaha team has had previous success at the 2.6-mile French circuit, standing on the top step in 2009 and has claimed a further four podium finishes.
The team will field their highly experienced line-up with the first Italian FIM EWC Champion and 2017 Le Mans 24 hour winner, Niccoló Canepa, partnered with 2016 IDM Superbike Champion and previous Endurance race-winner Marvin Fritz, and former Red Bull Rookies and European Moto3 champion, Karel Hanika, who will make his first proper start with the YART Yamaha YZF-R1 at the renowned 24-hour event.
Mandy Kainz – Team Manager – YART
“For us it is going to be quite a strange race, racing in front of empty grandstands for 24 hours, but it is what it is and we’re more than ready despite not having as much pre-event testing as normal. The biggest challenge will be for our riders because, in such a long Endurance race, you’re always chasing motivation to continue, and a lot of that comes from the fans. Still, our riders are very professional and will be able to give it their all. For Le Mans, we aim to return to the championship and pick up good points to put us in the title fight at the finale in Estoril. It is a must to finish the 24-hour event if we want to be within a chance of the title in this strange year. I know we can do a good job because we have an amazing package; the bike, the Bridgestone tyres and our riders are all very strong, so I know we can do a good race.”
The Wojcik Racing Team come into Le Mans looking to fight back from a non-finish in Sepang. The team will once again run British Superbike rider, Gino Rea, Frenchman Axel Maurin, Australian Broc Parkes and Polish rider Maceli Bezulski. The polish-based Yamaha team are determined to fight for the podium to keep themselves within a title chance come the season finale in Portugal.
The Moto Ain Yamaha World Cup Supported Team’s trio of riders, Roby Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clere will be looking to protect their lead in the Independent team and FIM World Cup standings. They currently lead the independent championship by 14 points over Wojcik Racing Team, in a Yamaha top-five lockout.
Completed in 1966, the famous 4.185km Bugatti circuit located in north-western France has seen various changes to the course. The current layout has been in use since 2008 and provides spectacular racing. Its high and low-speed corners mixed with heavy braking zones, fast changes of direction and unpredictable weather are what makes Le Mans and the 24 Heures Motos one of the most challenging and rewarding events on the calendar.
|1||Suzuki Endurance Racing Team||FFM||79||60||19|
|2||BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM||FMB||64||42||22|
|3||Wójcik Racing Team||PZM||48||48||–|
|4||YART – YAMAHA||AMF||43||13||30|
|5||3ART- MOTO TEAM 95||FFM||33||20||13|
|6||VRD IGOL PIERRET EXPERIENCES||FFM||31||29||2|
|7||Omega Maco Racing Team||SMF||30||30||0|
|8||Webike SRC Kawasaki France||FFM||30||11||19|
|9||Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA||MFJ||28||–||28|
|10||TECMAS BMW GMC||FFM||26||26||–|
|11||Tati Team Beaujolais Racing||FFM||25||24||1|
|12||F.C.C. TSR Honda France||MFJ||25||13||12|
|14||Yamaha Sepang Racing||NAMSSA||20||–||20|
|15||Bolliger Team Switzerland||FMS||19||11||8|
|16||BMW Sepang Racing||NAMSSA||14||–||14|
|17||Team LRP Poland||PZM||13||7||6|
|18||Team ERC Endurance||DMSB||12||–||12|
|19||SUZUKI JEG – KAGAYAMA||RFME||12||12||0|
|21||MOTOTECH EWC TEAM||FMB||11||11||–|
|22||SUN CHLORELLA BY R2CL||MUL||10||–||10|
|23||Zuff Racing Honda Swiss Team||FMS||8||8||–|
|24||Bertl K. Racing Team||AMF||8||5||3|
|25||FSB MATT RACING||FMP||6||6||–|
|27||KRP SANYOKOUGYOU & will raise RS-ITOH||MFJ||4||–||4|
|29||British Endurance Racing Team||ACU||3||3||0|
|2||BMRT 3D MAXXESS NEVERS||FFM||63||52||11|
|3||GERT56 by GS YUASA||DMSB||61||34||27|
|4||Wójcik Racing Team 2||PZM||53||41||12|
|5||No Limits Motor Team||FMI||45||28||17|
|7||Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto||FFM||34||14||20|
|8||AM Moto Racing Competition||FFM||34||25||9|
|10||TONE RT SYNCEDGE 4413 BMW||MFJ||26||–||26|
|11||ENERGIE ENDURANCE 91||FFM||26||19||7|
|12||JMA MOTOS ACTION BIKE||FFM||23||10||13|
|13||Junior Team LMS Suzuki||FFM||16||16||–|
|15||TEAM HANSHIN RIDING SCHOOL||MFJ||14||–||14|
|18||OG MOTORSPORT BY SARAZIN||FFM||8||–||8|
|19||GIRLS RACING TEAM||FFM||7||7||–|
|20||Dunlop Motors Events||FFM||6||6||–|
|23||Pecable Racing Team||FMS||2||2||–|
|2||Wójcik Racing Team||EWC||40||0||40|
|3||VRD IGOL PIERRET EXPERIENCES||EWC||28||11||39|
|4||3ART- MOTO TEAM 95||EWC||15||24||39|
|5||Omega Maco Racing Team||EWC||33||0||33|
|6||TATI TEAM BEAUJOLAIS RACING||EWC||21||10||31|
|7||GERT56 by GS YUASA||SST||9||21||30|
|9||Bolliger Team Switzerland||EWC||8||19||27|
|10||BMRT 3D MAXXESS NEVERS||SST||17||5||22|
|11||No Limits Motor Team||SST||6||14||20|
|12||TECMAS BMW GMC||EWC||19||0||19|
|13||Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto||SST||0||17||17|
|14||Wójcik Racing Team 2||SST||10||6||16|
|16||Team LRP Poland||EWC||0||13||13|
|18||Motobox Kremer Racing #65||EWC||0||9||9|
|19||AM Moto Racing Competition||SST||5||3||8|
|20||British Endurance Racing Team||EWC||0||8||8|
|21||MOTOTECH EWC TEAM||EWC||7||0||7|
|22||JMA MOTOS ACTION BIKE||SST||0||7||7|
|23||ENERGIE ENDURANCE 91||SST||4||1||5|
|26||OG MOTORSPORT BY SARAZIN||SST||0||2||2|
|27||SUZUKI JEG – KAGAYAMA||EWC||1||0||1|
|29||SEIGNEUR MOTORSPORT RACING||SST||0||0||0|
|31||HRT 100 – Hertrampf Racing Endurance||EWC||0||0||0|