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Yamaha YART - set to go the whole nine yards

01 April 2017 by Rik Van Gerwen Achievement 2 min read

In 2001, team manager Mandy Kainz only set one goal, but it was an ambitious one. He wanted his newborn endurance racing team to challenge for the EWC win. After two years in the world’s most grueling racing series, the team started bringing home gold, silver and bronze from Le Mans, Oschersleben, Suzuka, Portimão, Albacete, the Bol d’Or and Doha.

The highlight? 2009. Top dog. Kainz was happy. And hungry for more.

In 2015, they lined-up aboard Yamaha’s new YZF-R1. Max Neukirchner, Ivan Silva, Sheridan Morais and Broc Parkes often took it to the podium, with Morais even setting a new endurance lap record at Le Mans. And in 2016, Parkes and Neukirchner teamed up to finish the Le Mans 24h. Just the two of them. A superhuman feat.

So Team YART confidently arrived in second place to the last round of last season, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben. They dominated for the better part of the race, but were forced to retire due to technical issues and finished sixth overall. However, combining their experience on the new bike with the doggedness only a near-win creates, YART is the most determined team on this year’s grid. Full stop.

Full throttle. Joined by four-time AMA SBK Champion Josh Hayes, the duo of Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morais had their sights set on the overall podium during the first race of the season.

Setting a blisteringly fast pace from the get go, the team saw their riders battle for the provisional lead even before the completion of the first hour of racing. Shortly after, a minor issue with a malfunctioning tank light resulted in the bike running out of fuel twice, which dropped the team outside the top 10.

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Not once giving up the fight, Parkes, Hayes and Morais kept pushing hard to gradually bring the team back into the top three with seven and a half hours completed. Almost two hours later, taking advantage of a mistake by second-placed team rider, guest rider Josh Hayes claimed the provisional runner-up position.

Battling to retain second YART riders spent the whole night chipping away at the sizeable advantage held by the provisional leaders before a technical issue forced the team to abandon the race with exactly 15 hours and 38 minutes of racing completed. Collecting nine precious points the team is now placed 13th in the provisional championship standings.

Photography by Flo Hagena

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