Disappointed YART Yamaha Abandon the 24 Hours of Le Mans


The 24 Hours of Le Mans came to a premature end for the YART Yamaha EWC Team, who were forced to abandon ten hours in the race after damaging the engine of their YZF-R1 in a crash while running second.

The race, which got underway at 15.00 CET with the traditional Le Mans style start, was held in much warmer temperatures compared to qualifying on Thursday and Friday. For the YART Yamaha riders, Marvin Fritz, Niccolò Canepa and Broc Parkes, this meant less grip was available than in qualifying and the trio also had to contend with brake issues during the early stages of the race.

As evening approached and the temperature started to drop, the three YART Yamaha riders were able to up their pace and move up to challenge for the podium places. The number 7 Yamaha YZF-R1 with Fritz onboard was running in second position when the German rider suffered a minor crash.

The YART Yamaha team were quick to get the bike repaired and back into the battle for the podium, but the engine had been damaged in the crash and the bike stopped shortly afterwards, forcing the team to abandon the race.

The YART Yamaha team will return to action for the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring, which takes place on 11th May and where they were victorious last season.

Marvin Fritz

YART Yamaha EWC Team

“This was not our race. After 10 hours of racing, at one o’clock in the morning, we had to retire from third position due to a technical problem. We all worked really hard for this race and we definitely had the pace for a podium finish, so it’s really unfortunate. We struggled at the beginning for grip but later, with the cooler conditions, we had a good feeling and we were catching the leaders. Anyway, it was not to be, but big thanks to YART Yamaha and Bridgestone for all their hard work. Now we need to focus on the next race at the Slovakia Ring, which is in just two weeks. We have great memories of this race, having won there last year.”

Broc Parkes

YART Yamaha EWC Team

“I had really good pace in all my stints and I felt really strong, but our race was done after just 10 hours. Endurance can be cruel sometimes! Now we need to put the disappointment of Le Mans behind us and focus on the next race at the Slovakia Ring, as it’s a good circuit for us and one at which we won last year.”

Niccolò Canepa

YART Yamaha EWC Team

“Unfortunately, our Le Mans race ended after just 10 hours. The strategy was to control the race in the early stages and then push hard during the night. In the last few hours we were the fastest on track and looking to fight for the win, but we were forced to abandon before the halfway stage. Now we will keep working towards the next races. The team and the teammates are all strong and the results will come.”

Mandy Kainz

YART Yamaha EWC Team Manager

“Le Mans was a hard race for us. The temperature was higher than expected and in the early stages of the race we struggled a little for grip and experienced some brake issues, which meant we were not quite as competitive as we were expecting after qualifying, which was held in cooler conditions. Anyway, we tried to make a safe race so we could be in a position to fight for a podium at the finish. We were consistently in the top four but then Marvin had a small crash whilst in second position. We got the bike repaired and it seemed we had no issues, but then the bike stopped 10 hours into the race and we were forced to abandon. On first inspection it looks as if the engine suffered damage in the crash. It’s a shame because the team did a fantastic job and, as usual, the riders were three of the fastest on track in all conditions. But this is endurance; you can have the best bike and the fastest riders, but you also need a bit of luck on your side in endurance racing. No luck, no trophy, and that was our fate this weekend in Le Mans.”

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