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Sep 18, 2013

Zemke To Ride With BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent At 24 Hours Of Le Mans

FIM Endurance World Championship: Jake Zemke (far left) as seen during a BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent team photo prior to the Bol d'Or 24-Hour earlier in 2013. Zemke stands next to (from left) Karl Muggeridge, Sebastien Gimbert and Sylvain Barrier.
The Motorcycling World gears up for Le Mans 24 Hours

Casting changes ahead of this weekend’s race After a very eventful day of private practice in Le Mans and a number of withdrawals, several top teams have had to rejig their crews for the Le Mans 24 Hours, last round of the FIM Endurance World Championship.

Reigning World Champion the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team has suffered a serious reverse. On a wet and tricky track in the Sarthe, Anthony Delhalle fell heavily at the connecting corner. After a medical examination he was found to have broken his leg in two places and one of his collarbones. Dominique Méliand’s Suzuki team will therefore have to regroup around Vincent Philippe, Julien Da Costa and the fourth rider, Alex Cudlin.

Another pre-race favourite, the SRC Kawasaki, has also had to change the make-up of its crew because of a last-minute withdrawal, as Jérémy Guarnoni has finally decided to devote himself wholly to his Superstock 1000 Season. Gilles Stafler, team manager of SRC Kawasaki, has recruited Axel Maurin, a Kawasaki rider who has performed well in the French Superbike Championship, to ride alongside Grégory Leblanc and Fabien

Axel Maurin was originally announced to ride the Kawasaki of the Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers and will be replaced there by Cédric Tangre. Finally, BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent has had to replace Damian Cudlin, who is tied up with an IDM Superbike Championship race in Germany, with American rider Jake Zemke.

The first free practice starts at 12h30 on Thursday at Le Mans, where the Teams will be able to try out these last-minute changes. There are 60 crews entered for 56 placed on the starting grid. They include Le Mans rookies such as the Japanese SynergieForce Trickstar team and much acclaimed riders such as America’s Josh Hayes, who will be riding the Monster Energy Yamaha YART alongside Broc Parkes and Igor Jerman, and British TT star Guy Martin, recruited by the R2CL Suzuki team.

There will also be a French all-woman team, Amazone Fire, on the track with Erika Jeannot, Naoko Takasugi and Gaëlle Remy.

More, from a press release issued by Honda TT Legends:

Honda TT Legends aiming for end-of-season high

The 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship will draw to a close this weekend with one final epic battle – the ‘24 Heures Moto’ at Le Mans – and after a testing season, the Honda TT Legends team is determined to end the year on a high.

A four-strong squad of John McGuinness, Michael Rutter, Simon Andrews and Michael Dunlop are all in attendance at the French circuit, with the three-man race line-up due to be decided post-qualifying.

This will be McGuinness’s third time at the legendary race with the Honda TT Legends, so the 20-times Isle of Man TT winner is more than familiar with the 4.185km circuit. Andrews has tested at the track twice in the past but never competed in the race, while Rutter and Dunlop will be making their Le Mans debut.

The team will take part in two two-hour testing sessions today, giving all four riders a chance to get to grips with the circuit ahead of qualifying on Thursday and Friday and the 24-hour race itself, which will begin at 3pm CET on Saturday 21 September.

John McGuinness
There’s no denying that it’s been a tough season for us, but the aim this week is to put all that behind us and move on to end the year with a good result. At this stage last year we were in a great position, second in the standings and we had it all to play for. We’re no worse a team this year, in fact if anything we’re stronger, so there’s no reason why we can’t pull a result out of the bag. There’s a really positive feeling in the team and we’ll be pushing as hard as we can to make that happen.

Michael Rutter
I actually ended up doing the Bol d’Or 24-hour with National Motos after being drafted in at the last minute and despite all my nerves about it I actually really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to the race here at Le Mans. I’ve not ridden here before but we’ve got today and tomorrow to get familiarised before we get into qualifying. There’s a positive feeling in the team and we all just want to bring home a good result to end the year well.

Simon Andrews
It’s great to be back with the team and I’m really looking forward to the weekend. We obviously haven’t done a 24-hour race since the Bol d’Or so I’m definitely feeling a little nervous, but I just want to enjoy the experience and enjoy the race. I really like the circuit and we’ve got a good amount of track time before the race so overall we’re feeling pretty positive.

Michael Dunlop
The Bol d’Or was my first experience of endurance racing and it showed me how much effort goes into it from the whole team. The guys have had a rough season so we'll push hard to bring home a good result at this race. I’ll get my head down, do what I do and see where we end up.

More, from a press release issued by FIM eRoad Racing World Cup:


The FIM eRoad Racing World Cup will continue at one of the most historic race tracks in the world when Le Mans hosts the series on Friday 20 September.

The ground-breaking FIM eRoad Racing World Cup will complete its European series at Le Mans as teams from across the continent compete for a place in the world final, where they will join triumphant teams from the US.

Frédéric Lénart, CEO of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, said: ‘The Automobile Club de l'Ouest has been a vehicle for progressing mobility, especially in endurance events, since 1923 with the creation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That is why, since 2010, we have been delighted to welcome electric motorcycle racing for the 24 Hours Moto. The FIM eRoad Racing World Cup competition is in line with sustainable development and provides the public with intense racing at a high level, which fits perfectly with the philosophy of our club.’

This will be the third time Le Mans has presented electric motorcycle racing to the world. Previous meetings at the circuit saw European teams compete in 2010, 2011 and 2012. FIM eRoad Racing is part of the 24 Heures Moto’s meeting taking place between Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September.

FIM eRoadRacing is the world’s premier electric motorsport series officially sanctioned by the FIM, the worldwide governing body of motorcycle racing, and includes seven races across three continents.

Su Rong Zai currently leads the European Championship with China-based team Zongshen on 61 points, while team mate Ho Chi Fung sits in second place with 50 points.

TTXGP are the official promoters of the FIM eRoadRacing World Cup. From 2014, FIM eRoadRacing will follow a World Championship, with every team competing on each continent for a chance to be crowned world champions.
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