fbpx 24 Heures Motos glory goes to F.C.C. TSR Honda France
Saturday, June 15, 2024
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24 Heures Motos glory goes to F.C.C. TSR Honda France

F.C.C. TSR Honda France has made the best possible start to its FIM Endurance World Championship title defence with victory in an all-action, all-drama 24 Heures Motos, which recorded a weekend spectator attendance of 77,200, the highest amount since 2011. The other Bridgestone equipped teams, YART and Yoshimura SERT Motul, also had strong outings; finishing in 2nd and 7th place.

Mike Di Meglio, Josh Hook and Alan Techer claimed victory on the #1 Bridgestone-equipped Honda CBR1000 RR-R in front of a watching Gino Rea. The Briton was part of the F.C.C. TSR Honda France line-up that finished third in last year’s race but continues to recover from serious head injuries sustained in a crash in the Suzuka 8 Hours last August.

Rea received a guard of honor from the EWC riders and their teams as he set out on a highly emotional parade lap shortly before the 46th 24 Heures Motos got underway at 15h00 CET on Saturday. He then followed his former team-mates’ progress with great interest before being awarded the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy for his incredible determination not to give up in face of great adversity.

For Frenchman Di Meglio and Australian Hook meanwhile, the result marked their third victory in the 24 Heures Motos. For Techer, the win was his second in the traditional EWC season opener on the Circuit Bugatti.

Unbelievable,” the 30-year-old Hook said afterwards. “We won the championship last year without actually winning a race. Obviously, we want to win races, we want to show we are the best and to come here, first round of the season and win Le Mans, such a big, amazing race that everyone wants to win, it’s a bucket-list race and to come here and win is amazing, and all thanks goes to the team. They worked so hard over the winter to come to the race this year with a bike that’s a winning package. Today’s performance just shows that. Our race was flawless, there was no mistake in the garage, with the mechanics, the bike was sound and all three of us three riders didn’t make a mistake either. It’s the perfect 24-hour race in my opinion and it’s not often you do a 24-hour race and have no problems. And an amazing day for us.”

YART team takes silver

The Yamaha Austria Racing Team with Marvin Fritz, Niccolò Canepa and Karel Hanika placed second after a challenging day and night contest. A brake caliper issue proved costly for YART Yamaha when Niccolò Canepa was behind the handlebars before Karel Hanika crashed on oil during the early hours of Sunday morning. But that didn’t stop them, on the contrary. Their perseverance in this exciting race resulted in a 2nd place finish.

Black not giving up despite big crash damage in EWC

Gregg Black insists giving up was the last thing on his mind when a first-lap crash all but ended Yoshimura SERT Motul’s hopes of a third consecutive 24 Heures Motos victory. The FIM Endurance World Championship ace’s lead from pole position did not last long when a collision with Josh Hook’s F.C.C. TSR Honda France brought him down spectacularly. While his Suzuki GSXR 1000 was badly damaged, Black was uninjured and was able to limp his bike back to pits where his Le Mans-based team could carry out extensive and time-consuming repairs. “I’m gutted for the team and myself, it’s a 24-hour race and we know it’s long,” said the 34-year-old British-born rider. “I got a good start, I was going into the first corner in the lead and I think it was Josh, maybe he just carried too much speed in the corner and hit me. It was a big consequence because we crashed and the bike was quite badly damaged. We lost a lot of time but the race isn’t over, we’ve got points to score and we’ll be strong and will come back.

The Yoshimura SERT Motul team with Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and Etienne Masson fought back from last place to claim seventh place.

Challenging conditions in Le Mans

Racing through the night is always one of the most demanding aspects of the EWC, but the challenge was increased significantly during the 16h running of the 24 Heures Motos as ambient and track temperatures plunged to a little more than freezing. Smoke from the packed campsites close to the track also meant visibility was compromised with early morning mist adding another hazard to the mix. Despite the challenging conditions, the EWC regulars posted consistently high and evenly matched lap times to underline the close competition in the series, which resumes at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium from 16-18 June.

FIM Endurance World Championship calendar

Our 3 Bridgestone title contender teams will show their best in the races below. Mark them in your calendar!

  • 24H SPA EWC Motos (Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium) 16-18 June 2023*
  • Suzuka 8 Hours (Suzuka Circuit, Japan) 4-6 August 2023
  • Bol d’Or 24 hours (Circuit Paul Ricard, France) 14-17 September 2023*

*FIM Endurance World Cup round

© https://www.fimewc.com/


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