Third race and third victory for Yamaha Austria Racing Team in the 2009 Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship. The Austrian Yamaha, ridden by Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani took victory at the 8 Hours of Albacete, with a one minute thirty lead over the Folch Endurance of David Checa, Daniel Rivas and Jose Manuel Luis Rita. The Austrian permanent team strengthens his leadership and the Spanish team Folch Endurance makes a fantastic comeback in Endurance after their final third place in 2008.
“This was a very hard race”, reckons Gwen Giabbani, rider of the Yamaha Austria. “The competition was very strong, especially from Folch Endurance but also from Maco Moto”. On his side, Folch Endurance rider David Checa is happy with this final result: “a few more laps and our bike would probably have given up due to some overheating problems”.
The battle for the third place took place at the very end of the race between the Suzuki Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers of Stéphane Molinier, Jérôme Tangre and David Brière and the Honda Michelin Power Research Team of Josep Monge, Ivan Silva and William Costes. The Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers climbed on their first podium, thanks to their riders, but also due to a wise race schedule and pit stop management.
Starting from pole position, the Honda Michelin was in second place at the beginning of the race but a crash from Ivan Silva relegated them in the middle of the pack. They did their best until the end of the race, but this was not enough to get access to the podium, despite another best race lap of Ivan Silva in 1’32.429.
During most of the race, the battle for the third place was very hectic between the Honda Michelin and the Yamaha BK Maco Moto Racing Team of Jason Pridmore, Dani Ribalta and Victor Carrasco. But some drama happened fourty minutes from the checkered flag, when Victor Carrasco had to push the bike to the pits with a broken rear wheel sprocket. Solidly installed in second place until mid-race, and then third behind Folch Endurance, BK Maco Moto finished in seventh place.
In fifth place, Yamaha Phase One Endurance was also aiming for a podium after Pedro Vallcaneras holeshot, but a crash ruined all their expectations. Hence, Pedro Vallcaneras, Damian and Alexander Cudlin scored their first points of the season at Albacete. In sixth place, the Kawasaki Bolliger Switzerland did a trouble-free, yet rather discrete, race. BK Maco Moto and Suzuki RT Racing Team complete the top eight.
In ninth place the Suzuki Qatar Endurance Racing Team took victory in the Superstock class. As a bonus, the Suzuki QERT Junior finished twelfth and second in the Superstock class, ahead of the Kawasaki Cordoba Patrimonio de la Humanidad, who scored their first class podium.
Many Superstock teams suffered from the heat. An alternator joint betrayed Endurance Moto 45. Markos Suzuki Serbian Team had a lot of overheating problems. LTG 57 Zone Rouge had to change a cylinder head gasket in a very short time (1 h 20) to get back on track and try to score some points, but they could not cover enough laps to get access to the final classification.
Amongst other unlucky teams at these 8 Hours of Albacete are Yamaha Amadeus X-One, early race leader with Ayrton Badovini before some engine problems sent them back in thirteenth place. Suzuki AM Moto Racing was once sixth but they finish fifteenth after a crash, and Honda RMT 21 Racing Germany had to retire after their engine broke down.
The next round of the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship will take place in Japan the 26th of July, for the 8 Hours of Suzuka.