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Aug 18, 2014

Oschersleben 8 Hours FIM World Endurance Round Happening This Coming Weekend

The Honda Racing endurance team (111) in action.

Oschersleben 8 Hours in Germany on 23 August

The battle is on for the Endurance World title

Several intense rivalries will be played out in Germany on 23 August at the Oschersleben 8 Hours, penultimate round of the FIM Endurance World Championship. Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin, current leader of the provisional rankings, will have to defend its lead over Team SRC Kawasaki, while the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, Monster Energy Yamaha YART and Honda Racing will be going all out to make up some ground after a difficult start to the season.

The 24 Heures du Mans for motorcycles in September will see the curtain come down on the 2014 FIM Endurance World Championship but in August all eyes will be on the Oschersleben 8 Hours. Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin has a 7-point lead over Team SRC Kawasaki, winners of the Bol d’Or. This Kawasaki factory team has entered only the French Endurance races over the last few years but has just announced that it will be racing the full Championship for the next three seasons. This season, it is testing the waters at the German event. Team SRC Kawasaki is among the favourites for a win alongside Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin.

Other factory teams also have much to play for in Germany on Saturday 23 August. The reigning champion, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, is currently in 10th position and down 39 points on the leader board. In thirteenth place and lagging by 43 points, Honda Racing has yet to make a podium finish despite good performances on the track. Monster Energy Yamaha YART, in 20th place and 51 points behind the leader, is also expected to be in the leading pack. Monster Energy Yamaha will doubtless be setting the pace with its second machine, ridden by two MotoGP riders, Broc Parkes and Michael Laverty. The best challengers will also be in the action, among them the experienced Team Bolliger Team Switzerland (Kawasaki), currently 3rd on the leader board, Team Motors Events April Moto (Suzuki), a newcomer in EWC and already featuring in the World Top 5, National Motos (Honda) and Team R2CL (Suzuki).

In the Superstock category, the rankings coming out of the Bol d’Or show Junior Team LMS Suzuki in the lead followed by Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences and the German team Franks Autowelt Racing Team (BMW). Other national teams will be looking to shine in Oschersleben, among them Völpker NRT48 by Schubert Motors (BMW). Another one to watch is the Kawasaki of the QMMF Racing Team, very well placed at the Bol d’Or before dropping out on a mechanical failure.

The first practice sessions will take place on Thursday 21 August in Oschersleben. The race will start at 12.00 hours (GMT+2) on Saturday 23 August.

More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing:

Honda Racing aiming to win at Oschersleben 8 Hours

The 2014 Endurance World Championship resumes with the third and penultimate round of the season at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Germany this weekend. The Honda Racing team is aiming for victory in the 8-hour race with its trio of endurance experts, Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastien Gimbert, competing aboard the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP.

At the previous two rounds, Honda Racing has qualified as the fastest permanent EWC squad, however a run of bad luck come race time has prevented the team from translating this speed into results. The crew and riders are now more determined than ever to prove their winning capability and have their sights set firmly on the race victory.

Qualifying for the Oschersleben 8 Hours takes place on Thursday and Friday this week with the race beginning at 12.00 CEST on Saturday 23 August.

Neil Tuxworth

There’s no denying that it’s been a difficult and frustrating season for the team so far, but looking at the positives, we’ve proven that we have the speed to lead and win races and that is what we are aiming to do in Germany. The whole team is still hungry for it and we’re putting the problems of the last two races behind us to focus on what we need to do to get our season back on track.

Julien Da Costa

It will be very difficult for us to claim the title now, but we will be fighting for the win at every race and it can be done! I really like the Oschersleben circuit and I’ve been fast there in the past. I think the Fireblade will be very quick there and I’m looking forward to riding it and hopefully winning.

Freddy Foray

It’s so important than that we finish this race without any problems. My approach will be exactly the same as any other race – we go aiming to be fastest and aiming to win. Our track performance so far this year has proved that we can achieve that. I’ve ridden at Oschersleben during the German Superbike Championship, but this will be my first time there for the endurance race. It’s a small and technical track and I really enjoy it.

Sebastien Gimbert

The championship is not over and until it is, we will not give up. You give your all no matter what results you have had at the previous rounds. We’ve had some bad luck but we always give our best and we are the fastest team on track. I really like Oschersleben circuit and I’ve always had good results there before, so hopefully that will continue. I’d love us to get the race win so that we can back into the title fight before Le Mans. We will certainly be trying.

More, from a press release issued by Franks Autowelt Racing Team: Franks Autowelt Racing Team: Three Champions for the home race

Markus Reiterberger, Bastien Mackels and Pedro Vallcaneras

Böhlen, Germany. The Franks Autowelt Racing Team will field three genuine Champions for its home race: At the German Speedweek’s 8 hours of Germany race of the FIM Endurance World Championship, reigning IDM Superbike champion Markus Reiterberger, fellow IDM Superstock champion Bastien Mackels and 2012 Endurance Superstock Cup winner Pedro Vallcaneras will take over the handlebars of the Penz – BMW S 1000 RR.

In his racing career Van Zon Remeha BMW Team Manager Werner Daemen already rode for the Endurance team of Rico Penzkofer and the Belgian now runs a successful team in the German Superbike Championship. To glue both squads together for the FIM World Endurance race in Germany was obvious. Both teams – and VanZon Remeha BMW – are hoping for better racing calendars with no clashes between the German National Championship and the Endurance World Championship in 2015, to get an even more intense partnership.

Home Race Oschersleben: Repeating last year’s victory?

Oschersleben has held some ups and downs for the Team of former racer Rico Penzkofer. Prior to picking up the FIM World Endurance Superstock Cup title in 2012 the squad endured some bad luck at the Magdeburger Börde, crashing twice and only earning some points. Last year’s race saw the BMW powered squard picking up the victory and the upper step at the podium with Jason Pridmore, Pedro Vallcaneras and Steve Mercer at the handlebars of the Superstock-spec S 1000 RR. Sixth in the general standings of the race also meant some high profile EWC Superbike teams were fought down in the 8hrs encounter.

3rd overall after 1 of 3 races

The FIM Endurance World Superstock Cup overall standings see Franks Autowelt Racing Team holding on to third with 38 points. The weather affected Bol d’Or brought a 6th in the Superstock class for the German squad – after crashing twice. Due to the new point system earned additional credits for leading the race and P2 after 8 and 16 hours respectively, which meant 3rd overall. The leading squad of the Junior Team LMS Suzuki is 19 points ahead.

Quotes prior to the German Speedweek Oschersleben 2014

Markus Reiterberger - Rider:

"The 8 hours of Oschersleben will be my first proper shot at the Endurance. I had a 2 hours race at the same venue, but never 8 hours or even in the World Championship. I am keen to see what to expect. I need to get adapted to the team and the tactics as quick as possible, as in those Endurance races it all is about being constant for 8 hours and not pushing the limit for just 18 laps like we do at the IDM. But I am more than looking forward to race in such a experienced team together with my friend and team mate Basien Mackels. To set targets is hard, as I don’t know too much about this scenery but as a racer it is for sure you always want to win. We’ll give our all to achieve that. My personal target is to gain more experience, have some fun and to show my abilities also in the Endurance class. My first FIM World Endurance appearance – I am looking so so forward to it!”

Bastien Mackels – Rider:

“I am really Happy to race with the all the Franks Autowelt Racing Team again and this time also with parts of my IDM team. I will ride with Markus who became a friend in the last years and who is really fast - so that will be fun! Our lap times were really good at the IDM race at Oschersleben so we will try to be fast with the Endurance Bike also - for one lap and for 8 hours of course. I am very happy every time I get the chance to ride in the World Endurance and I can’t wait for this race. Race day also will be my birthday – so I hope to get a good result as this would be the best gift! I am also looking forward to ride the BMW S 1000 RR again together with Pedro. He is a nice guy, so friendly and damn fast!”

Pedro Vallcaneras - Rider:

“I am very happy to race with so fast and experienced riders at Oschersleben. They have been testing and racing a lot at this track so far this year, so I think they can help the team a lot and we can aim for a strong result. For sure I will give my best and try to get close to their lap times so they are not too much fast than me. I am looking forward to the home round of our Franks Autowelt Racing Team and of the home race of BMW Motorrad.”

Rico Penzkofer – Team Principal:

"The German Speedweek at Oschersleben as every year is our home race and with that our Highlight of the Endurance World Championship season. We are all excited to see, how everything will unfold this year. Of course, we had bad luck there, but our win during last year’s season came on top in our team’s highlights. But that’s a long way to go, there are more than those 8 hours in front of us and everything can happen. Markus and Bastien proved to be extremely fast during their IDM races here and we hope to get that pace over the whole distance. There’s no need to talk about Pedro – he belongs to the inventory of the team for a long time now and is a very experienced and fast guy. This time we also have to say a special thank you to Werner Daemen who released Markus and Bastien for this race.”

Facts and Figures

Name: etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben

Opening: 25. Juli 1997

Length: 3.696 Kilometres

Corners: 14

Date: 21. – 24. August

Event: 17. German Speedweek

Time Schedule FIM World Endurance:

Wednesday, 20. August 2014:

10:00 – 15:00: Test-Sessions

Thursday, 21. August 2014:

11:45 – 13:45: Free Practice

15:45 – 17:05: Qualifying Rider 1, 2 and 3 (20 Mins each, 10 Min break)

Friday, 22. August 2014:

13:45 – 15:05: Qualifying Rider 1, 2 and 3 (20 Mins each, 10 Min break)

Saturday, 23. August 2014:

09:00 – 09:45: Warm-up

11:20: Starting procedure

12:00 – 20:00: 8 hours of Germany – Race

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