News 7 May 2010

EWC: Martin and YART lead series into Albacete 8 Hours

The 2010 Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship started mid April in the fast lane with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, won by the GSR Kawasaki with Julien da Costa, Olivier Four and Gregory Leblanc, ahead of the 2009 Qtel FIM Endurance World Champions Igor Jerman, Aussie Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani of the Yamaha Austria Racing Team.

However, that result means that YART has got a good lead for the 2010 world title since team GSR won’t participate in all the races this season and also since the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, another great challenger, didn’t score any points at Le Mans as they had to retire.

YART will have to watch the come back of the Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone from the next round – the “8 Horas Nocturnas of Albacete”, scheduled in Spain on 22 May.

The Suzuki RAC 41 City Bike of Greg Junod, Gregg Black and Olivier Depoorter will be one of the 2010 outsiders. By finishing third at Le Mans, they are definitely in the right track for the 2010 championship, like the Suzuki RT Moto Virus with Frédéric Jond, Eric Mizera and William Grare and the Kawasaki Bolliger Team Switzerland which was very fast at Le Mans with Horst Saiger, Roman Stamm and Frédéric Chabosseau.

Despite lagging behind its new Bridgestone tyres, the French official Yamaha ridden by David Checa, Gregorio Lavilla and Kenny Foray finished fourth at Le Mans.

Among the unlucky competitors of Le Mans 24 hours, the Honda BMP Elf 99 of Matthieu Lagrive, Damian Cudlin and Werner Daemen finished eighth, the BMW Michelin team of Sébastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon and Bertrand Stey, which was forced to retire, the Spanish Yamaha YMES Foch Endurance who is used to being on the Albacete podium will also be highly motivated, and the Honda National Motos that only recently decided to take part in the 8 Hours in Spain.

In the Superstock class, we expect a new confrontation between Australian Alex Cudlin’s Qatar Endurance Racing Team 1 and Team Motor Events, a new challenger in the FIM World Cup, won by QERT in 2008 and 2009.

The start of the 8 Hours of Albacete, a semi-nocturnal race, will take place Saturday, 22 May at 6:00pm before the teams race through the night.