YART Yamaha Official EWC Team’s Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika, the newly crowned 2023 FIM Endurance World Champions, are at the ASRA Race of Champions this weekend at Daytona International Speedway preparing for an all-out assault on the 2024 Daytona 200.
“This year in March we went testing, and in the evening at dinner we were watching the Daytona 200,” Fritz exclusively told Roadracingworld.com in the paddock on Friday. “Then we stood up and said to Mandy [Kainz, Team Manager], ‘Mandy, if we win the World Championship, we will do Daytona?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, of course we will do it.’
“He didn’t believe we would win the World Championship, and now we are here. It’s an amazing present from the team, and we are grateful for this. It’s always been a dream to come here and do this special race, and even better to come here and have a test before to know the track, the tires, and the bike. I haven’t ridden for 10 years on an R6, so it’s new for me again.”
On Friday, Fritz and Hanika are sharing a Bridgestone-shod Next-Generation-spec Yamaha YZF-R6 built by N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto and supplied by GiaccMoto’s Chuck Giacchetto, who will prepare three Yamahas for the team’s Daytona 200 project.
“It’s nice to come here with this big grandstand and this amazing place. It’s beautiful,” continued Fritz. “I just did three laps. It’s very nice, especially the banking. It’s unbelievable. It’s a long time flat out, especially with the R6, and playing with the slipstream. It’s amazing. I can’t wait for the race.”
Fritz and Hanika will participate in Friday’s ASRA Team Challenge two-hour endurance race, but their Yamaha is not equipped with quick wheel change hardware or a quick-fill fuel tank, so the race will be treated as a test, said Fritz.
Fritz said he and Hanika will be joined at the Daytona 200 by their teammate Niccolo Canepa, who could not make this test due to a prior commitment.