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Apr 12, 2007

Anthony Gobert Tested With Yamaha GMT94 World Endurance Team Last Week At Le Mans


With less than two weeks before the opening race of the QMMF Endurance FIM World Championship, the tension is mounting and the teams have been making their final adjustments at the free tests which took place last week [April 4-5] at Le Mans.

World Champions, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, has a strong advantage with their two GSX-R 1000s with which they will be looking to safeguard their title for another season and plot a route to the podium.

The Yamaha GMT94 team is also preparing for the 24 hour race and has lined up a trio of riders who will be looking to take the victory. Team Manager Christophe Guyot invited Anthony Gobert to last week's tests. The Australian Superbike rider is surely the perfect replacement rider to prepare for any eventuality. The GMT94 riders are facing a busy week-end before the Le Mans 24 Hour, with David Checa and Sébastian Gimbert both racing in World Supersport in Valencia, whilst Olivier Four will be taking part in the French Superbike Championship in Ledenon.

Over in Team Kawasaki France, following concern for rider Gwen Giabbani after his fall during a French Superbike Championship race, everything looks to be back in order. Giabbani will start the race alongside Steve Plater and Scott Smart. Supporting the ZX-10R in its quest for the podium, the ZX-10R Education Racing Team (Superstock) will be looking for a good result, with Julian Mazuecos, Renaud Moisan and Fabien Sohier.

The Yamaha Austria Racing Team has also been hit with problems following a crash during the tests in which Sébastian Scarnato suffered a dislocation of the shoulder. Scarnato hopes to have recovered in time for racing at Le Mans alongside Igor Jerman and Damian Cudlin.

Over at National Motos (winners of the 2006 event) Frederic Protat, Dani Ribalta and Denis Bouan have praised the performance of their Honda CBR 1000RR engine which this year has benefited from the expert attention of Honda Racing Corporation. The team used the tests to make further improvements to the bike's chassis.

Many more permanent teams also took part in the Le Mans tests, including the Bolliger Team, who this year hope to reach the podium with the Kawasaki, as well as Zone Rouge, Amadeus X-One, Endurance Moto 38, Endurance Moto 45, No Limits and RMT21 Racing.

The importance of the opening round of the QMMF Endurance FIM World Championship at Le Mans cannot be underestimated. With 35 points awarded to the winner of the 24 Hour race, the result is sure to have a big impact towards the end of the season. In addition the teams now know that the race in Qatar will be run over eight hours rather six, meaning the winner will take home 30 points instead of 25.

Official testing for the Le Mans 24 Hour begins on Thursday 19th April with the race itself starting on Saturday 21st April at 3.00pm.