FIM EWC 2017 - Honda Endurance Racing ready for 2017 Endurance World Championship challenge Bol d’Or The Circuit Paul Ri

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FIM EWC 2017 - Honda Endurance Racing ready for 2017 Endurance World Championship challenge Bol d’Or The Circuit Paul Ri

#1 Unread post by totalmotorcycle » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:54 pm

@FIM @EWC 2017 - @Honda Endurance #Racing ready for 2017 Endurance World Championship challenge Bol d’Or The Circuit Paul Ricard, #France

The Honda Endurance Racing team is fired up and ready to head to Le Castellet in France next week for 24 hours of non-stop racing action at the 80th edition of the Bol d’Or (17-18 September). The event also kicks off the 2017 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) as the series is launched in its new winter series format.
Endurance specialists Freddy Foray, Julien Da Costa and Sébastien Gimbert will remain with the Honda team for their fourth consecutive season in a bid to become the next Endurance World Champions, aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP.

It’s been a mixed year for the Honda team; in Le Mans disaster struck at the 24 Heures Motos after a technical problem dashed their podium chance, however a podium in Portugal and two-strong finishes in Suzuka and Oschersleben saw them wrap up the season fourth in the overall championship.
The Endurance World Championship has a fresh new feel with the updated calendar structure for 2017 and sees the Bol d’Or kicking off proceedings. It’s an important change for Honda Endurance Racing and will require a strong performance as a huge points haul can be collected from a 24-hour race.
Previous years have seen the championship start in April and finish in September with four rounds, but the new layout will see the series start in September at the Bol d’Or and finish in July with the Suzuka 8 Hours. The FIM are planning six rounds in total across Europe and Asia.
The team also welcomes Steve Mercer to the squad as its reserve rider at the Bol d’Or. Mercer brings a host of experience with him having raced at the Isle of Man TT and also in the British Superbike Championship. Last year the 34 year-old took part in EWC with the Jackson Racing Honda supported team in the Superstock class.
Undoubtedly the goal for the season is to secure the 2017 EWC title, but for now the entire team’s focus is on the Bol d’Or and the 24-hour battle that lies ahead.
Qualifying for the Bol d’Or takes place on Thursday and Friday, with the race starting at 1500 (GMT +1) on Saturday 17 September. For all the latest news on the team in real time follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.
2017 FIM EWC Provisional Calendar
17-18 September – Bol d’Or – France
18 March – 12 Horas de Portimão – Portugal*
22-23 April – 24 Heures Motos – France*
20 May – 8 Hours of Oschersleben – Germany
24 June – 8 Hours race – Europe TBA
30 July – Suzuka 8 Hours – Japan
* Date subject to modification in late November

Freddy Foray 111
I’m proud to re-sign with Honda Endurance Racing and continue the journey with Julien and Sébastien, we started together in 2014 so it’s nice to continue this project together. We have a great team with Honda, we are all a family and we go through the highs and lows of endurance together, I have a lot of confidence for the 2017 season and feel we will be able to challenge for the win. 2016 was difficult at times, but we learnt a lot from it. There were a lot of improvements from previous years and we were consistent throughout, we just had some bad luck at Le Mans and Suzuka – but that is endurance! We finished the season overall fourth, which is our best result with the team, so we have something now to build on and make sure we’re always on the top step in 2017. The change to the endurance championship is an exciting one, and it’s very important we get a good start this year. We had a good test at Paul Ricard last week, so we’re all feeling ready to tackle the new season.
- Honda Endurance Racing

Julien Da Costa 111
I’m happy to re-sign with Honda for another season, we have improved in 2016 and it showed with us finishing the season in fourth place. We have a good team with Freddy and Sébastien and I enjoy having them as team-mates, we are also part of a team but are also good friends. I have confidence in the new season it’s an exciting time for us and we need to get a good start at the Bol d’Or next week. We enjoyed a good test at the circuit last week and the aim is simple, we need to be in the top-three, if not leading the race for the 24 hours. We have to start the season strong and we all know that this can happen. The new championship layout is exciting and it’s great to see more races in endurance! We’re ready to challenge and I now look forward to the Bol d’Or and heading out for our first practice.
- Honda Endurance Racing

Sébastien Gimbert 111
I am pleased to be back with Honda for another year, I have full confidence in Honda and also the team, I am very motivated and looking forward to the 2017 challenge. The 2016 season was challenging for us in many ways, but we fought hard throughout and finished fourth overall. At Le Mans and Suzuka we missed out, but we now have more experience and a lot of data to tackle the new season, so we are more prepared than ever! I’m excited for the new season and we need to be strong at the Bol d’Or and start our season off with big points. This year it’s the opening of the new championship so we have to be running in the top group throughout so we can score the bonus points at the eight and 12-hour marks. It’s an exciting season ahead for Honda Endurance Racing and I can’t wait to get going.
- Honda Endurance Racing

Steve Mercer 111
I’m obviously really happy to get this opportunity with Honda Endurance Racing, I’ve had a good run with the Jackson Racing team on their Fireblade, and so to be given the chance to ride a factory Fireblade is just amazing. I had a little go on the bike at the start of the year during the joint team test, but was able to join the team for the official Bol d’Or test at Paul Ricard last week. I’ve never ridden the circuit before and it’s a great circuit to learn, it’s quite flat and the track was quite quiet so I am looking forward to the race next week and the practice sessions so can see what’s going on a little more – I’m watching a lot of onboard videos now to get up to speed. It was a great test and I think with a few more laps under my belt I’ll be up to speed and ready to race if I am needed. I can’t wait to get there now and get going!
- Honda Endurance Racing

Jonny Twelvetrees
Assistant team manager
The 2016 FIM Endurance World Championship season has only just finished but we are now ready for the start of the new season, which kicks off next weekend with the Bol d'Or. I'm delighted that our three riders have re-signed with us for 2017, they have been part of the team since 2014 and to continue the endurance journey with them is great. They work really well together and the team know them well and know what needs to be done for us to win the 2017 championship. It's also great to have Steve onboard with us, he brings with him vast amounts of experience from road racing through to circuit racing and he impressed us all at Oschersleben, so we're looking forward to welcoming him properly. I'm really looking forward to the race, we had a great pre-Bol test to get dialed in and I am sure we can make further improvements. We have not had the best of luck historically at the Bol d'Or, but we have learnt a lot this season and we have crucial data that the team have been looking into, so both the Fireblade and team are ready and I'm sure Freddy, Julien and Sébastien will push hard, as they always do, so we can be fighting at the front.
- Honda Endurance Racing
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