A Renewed YART Ready to Get Racing in Le Castellet

Fritz

The YART Yamaha Official EWC Team are set to return to action this week for the opening round of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship. With long time EWC contenders the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team having announced their transition to the World Supersport Championship for the 2019 season, YART will be the only official Yamaha entrants to the championship this year. They will also be joined by GMT94 veteran and EWC Champion, Niccolò Canepa, who will be taking the place of Takuya Fujita for the 2018/2019 season. The opening round is once again the historic 24 Hour Bol d’Or to be held at the Circuit Paul Ricard with this Thursday’s qualifying rounds getting the event underway.

YART had a difficult 2017/2018 season in which they only managed to find points in one of the five races on the calendar. Despite unfortunate issues with spills, technical issues and mechanical concerns, YART pulled everything out of the bag at the 2018 8 Hours Slovakia Ring, taking home the maximum points and a well-deserved spot on the top step of the podium. Heading into the 2018/2019 season with renewed vigour and the added experience that two-time EWC Champion Niccolò Canepa brings with him, this is a team that are ready to make a challenge for their first title since 2009.

Despite the absence of GMT94, YART will not be the only team ready to race Endurance spec YZF-R1’s this season. Yamaha have extended their support for independent teams, bringing more hopefuls from across Europe to both the FIM Endurance World Championship as well as the Superstock categories. Currently five teams from throughout Europe have signed on for the extended support with more in discussions for the future. While each of these teams will operate as independent teams, the extended support will give them unprecedented access to parts and support from Yamaha that should help make the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship one of the most hotly contested yet.

Closing in on almost a century old, the legendary 24-hour Bol d’Or has been run since 1922 and is a firm favourite on the Endurance calendar. The race has been held at several tracks over the years, with Circuit Paul Ricard serving as it’s home between 1978-1999. The Bol d’Or returned to the Le Castellet based track in 2015 and is back again this year for the fourth year in a row. Famed for the enormous Mistral straight, a staggering 1.8km long, the circuit is a favourite for the ever-passionate French fans who invariably turn out en masse to provide a singular and exhilarating atmosphere.

Proceedings begin for the opening round of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship at 09:30 local time on Thursday 13th September with the first of the free practice sessions. Rider qualifying rounds begin at 15:40 the same day and continue on Friday ahead of a 15:00 local time race start on Saturday 15th September. The racing will continue on through the night and on into Sunday with the chequered flag ready to drop at 15:00 local time. As one of two 24 hour races on the calendar, Bol d’Or offers teams the chance to grab a total of 65 points, with 40 points available for the win as well as an extra ten points available for positions at the 8 and 16 hour marks. The additional five points on offer are new to this season and go to the top five qualifying positions; with pole receiving the full 5 points down to 5th receiving 1 additional point.

Broc Parkes

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team

We had a great two-day test. The bikes working really well and the whole team are coming together nicely. The Bridgestones are performing well and look good for the race. We’ve had a couple of minor changes in the pit team which mean we’re working even better in the box. Niccolò coming on board has been excellent so far and he brings some great experience with him and the three of us are working really well together so far. We’re all excited for the race and feeling like we’re the team to beat, which is a perfect position to be in!

Marvin Fritz

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team

Everyone’s feeling really confident after a positive two-day test. We finished first both days and all three of us were super close in times which is a big confidence boost. The break has been really productive for me. I stayed in the south of France and got some serious training in so I’m feeling very prepared! I think the team is really strong this year and we’re ready to get racing this weekend. The weather’s looking good and it should be a great start to the season!

Niccolò Canepa

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team

I’m feeling very happy to be a part of the YART team and excited to start the season! We’ve had two days of testing so far and the team is working really well together. We ended the testing session in first position, but our opponents are looking very strong as well. We’re all looking forward to Bol d’Or and getting the season underway. We’re feeling super confident, but anything can happen in 24 hours!

Mandy Kainz

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team Manager

The guys are all in great shape and ready to get the season going. The three of them are coming together great and with Niccolò joining the team, I think we’re looking very good for the season. It’s a really international set of guys now so it’s nice to see them all gelling so nicely. We’re feeling confident for the, but for now we’re focusing on the qualifying. With the new rules, there’s points on offer for qualifying so that’s our main focus! It’s a long race, with a long straight, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that everything goes well and the brakes do what they’re supposed to!

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