World Endurance: More From The 12-Hours At Estoril

World Endurance: More From The 12-Hours At Estoril

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By BMW Motorrad Motorsports

From a press release issued By BMW Motorrad Motorsports:

Third place on the podium for the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team in dramatic 12-hour race at Estoril.

Second race, second podium for the new #37 BMW M 1000 RR in the FIM Endurance World Championship 2021 (FIM EWC). Xavi Forés, Markus Reiterberger and Kenny Foray finish the 12 Hours of Estoril in third place. Magnificent recovery after fall in the opening stage of the race.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport's Xavi Fores leads F.C.C. TSR Honda France (5) early in the 12-Hours of Estoril. Photo courtesy BMW.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Xavi Fores (37) leads F.C.C. TSR Honda France (5) early in the 12-Hours of Estoril. Photo courtesy BMW.

In the, at times, dramatic 12-hour race at Estoril (POR), Xavi Forés (ESP), Markus Reiterberger (GER) and Kenny Foray (FRA) secured third place on the podium as at the Le Mans (FRA) season opener. Once again they battled their way back up the field impressively after a fall in the opening stage forced the team right down the field to start with. The podium finish was a fitting present for Team Manager Werner Daemen’s 50th birthday.

Everything was going perfectly for the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team to begin with. Starting from second on the grid, Forés took the lead after just a few minutes. The #37 M RR dropped back into second place briefly after about 50 minutes, but was soon back in front. Reiterberger then extended the lead but after almost two and a half hours of racing Foray skidded while in the lead and fell. He returned the #37 M RR to the pits and after a repair break lasting four and a half minutes it was back to the race. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team was temporarily in 20th place and trailing by four laps, but from there the only way was up.

The rest of the race was turbulent at times, with various race leaders dropping right down the field after falls or issues, but went without a hitch for Forés, Reiterberger and Foray and they made up place after place with fast lap times. Forés held the fastest lap time of the whole field for quite some time. After five hours of racing they had worked their way into the top ten. The trio was in sixth place after seven hours, and moved up into fourth place soon after, when two motorbikes in the leading pack collided. That was when the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team set about reducing the margin to the top three.

In the final stage the race became something of a real sprint thriller. Ninety minutes before the end the team leading at that time developed a problem which put the podium within realistic reach of the #37 M RR. When all the teams had completed their final pit stops 30 minutes before the chequered flag, Reiterberger, the closing rider, was just ten seconds off the podium. He really went for it and set the team’s fastest race lap in the final stint (just six-thousandths of a second behind the fastest lap overall). Reiterberger closed the gap to two seconds – and just a few minutes before the end of the race, the rider in third place ended up in the gravel. That cleared the path to third place and the second podium finish in a row. After 416 laps, Reiterberger crossed the finish line in third place with the #37 M RR, just 0.976 seconds behind second place.

The privateer BMW squad Team LRP Poland finished in 16th place. The riders of the #90 BMW S 1000 RR were Nigel Walraven (NED), Stefan Kerschbaumer (AUT) and Thomas Gradinger (AUT).

Quotes after the ‘12 Hours of Estoril’.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Congratulations to the whole team on another fantastic performance. It was a real thriller and history repeated itself. It was similar to Le Mans: leading shortly after the start, then a setback, then moving up the field to finish on the podium. We weren’t quite able to race at our pace in the first stint with the cool track temperatures. Things went really well from the second stint and our pace was definitely good enough to win. Unfortunately, Kenny fell and we dropped down to P20. Everyone did a magnificent job in the ensuing race to catch up. Our pace was really good down to the wire, but realistically we wouldn’t have done better than P4 or P5. But the other teams also experienced a few dramas, so the battle for P2 to P4 was really close in the end. We had to change the brakes, which was planned, but the final two stints from Xavi and Markus were incredibly strong so we really piled the pressure on the rider in third place. To end up finishing in P3 less than one second behind second place – after the fall at the beginning – we have to be pleased with that result. We saw that we had the pace required to win. Now we are in a very good starting position for the rest of the season, and our motto for the Bol d’Or in September is ‘full attack’. After all, we are still in with a chance of winning the world championship. We still have some work to do, but have a very good team, a very good bike, and the potential to become even better. I’d like to thank the team, they did a fantastic job, were great in the pit stops, and I’m happy that we could mark Werner Daemen’s 50th birthday by gifting him this podium.”

Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “What a big day. It was a very exciting day, to be honest. I’m really enjoying my present now. It also was a very difficult day with the crash and some small issues but in the end we got the podium and I am really, really happy. I think the team again did a great job and except for the crash, everything was perfect and we showed again that we are among the top runners in the World Championship. I am sure that soon we can reach the highest step of the podium.”

Markus Reiterberger: “Xavi did a great opening stint. I took over being in the lead, was able to extend the gap again and hand over the bike in the lead, too. Unfortunately, Kenny then fell. Initially, that was a setback for us all but we kept our focus and always said that we try to get the best out of it. 12 hours is not as long as 24 hours but we still can achieve something. Xavi did really strong lap times and I then was able, especially in my last stint, to give my everything. The bike worked perfectly for me in cooler conditions. I really pushed and if the race had lasted one lap more, even second place would have been possible. But we made it to the podium and that is the main thing. We are still in the mix in the World Championship.”

Xavi Forés: “It was a very tough race. Honestly, after the crash we could not expect to finish on the podium. But we had a really good pace, the bike was working really well, so credit to all the team that worked amazingly to fix the bike in a way that I could get 1:39 times in all my stints. I am really happy with the performance we had all weekend. We have shown that we are really strong and as soon as we can complete the race with no mistakes or issues we will be on the top step. Thank you to the entire team and to Markus and Kenny; they did an amazing job. Now roll on Le Castellet in September.”

Kenny Foray: “First of all I want to apologise for my crash. It was a small mistake but it what it is. I am very disappointed about it because I think today it was possible to easily win. The bike was perfect, the tyre, too, and the riders were strong. Especially my team-mates were incredible. I love endurance for that; you never give up and that we could make it to the podium was fantastic. A big thank you to the team, thank you to Xavi and Markus, because it was an incredible effort today.”

More, from a press release issued by Yoshimura SERT Motul:

YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL FIGHT BACK AT ESTORIL EWC

Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R – 17th – 4th in Championship.

The Yoshimura SERT Motul Suzuki team fought back adversity in today’s Endurance World Championship second round in Portugal to keep their 2021 title hopes alive.

GSX-R1000R riders Sylvain Guintoli, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon dominated the 12 Hours of Estoril in rising temperatures but showed their team spirit to claw back after two unfortunate accidents.

The Yoshimura SERT Motul Suzuki team at Estoril. Photo courtesy Suzuki.
The Yoshimura SERT Motul Suzuki team at Estoril. Photo courtesy Suzuki.

At the drop of the flag, Gregg Black was once again the fastest to get out of the starting grid to holeshot the race from his third position.

The Suzuki GSX-R1000R dominated its opponents but the rising heat of the track, which increased each hour, put more and more strain on the tyres grip. The track became tricky and many riders crashed, which was the case for Sylvain Guintoli, sliding-off just before the third hour of the race while in the lead. The whole technical team quickly repaired the damage caused by this crash and when the Suzuki #1 returned to the track, after more than six minutes in the box, it was 17th in the classification.

Black, Xavier Siméon and Guintoli then focused on ensuring their rise in the rankings and get a maximum of points; Guintoli setting the fastest lap of the race.

At mid-race, the GSX-R1000R had already made up part of his deficit on the race leader in sixth position. The podium was therefore once again in sight and the team kept a good race pace while remaining focused on their objective.

However, with five hours to go, Simeon, then fifth in the race, collided violently with a competitor.

But with all podium hopes gone, the team did not give up and after a long mechanical intervention in the pits, the Suzuki #1 was back on track in 24th position with the new objective of winning some precious points for the championship.

This perseverance and determination was rewarded with 17th place at the finish, which sees the Yoshimura SERT Motul team to leave the Portuguese circuit with seven additional points.

The next race of the season will take place on the Paul Ricard circuit in Castellet, in France for the 84th edition of the Bol d’Or on September 18 and 19th.

Damien Saulnier – Team Manager SERT: “This race has proven once again that in Endurance, nothing is ever decided in advance. We came here with points ahead, a lot of hope, a well-functioning team and three fast riders. At the start of the race, we showed our potential. And then, a few hours later the result is completely different. It’s racing, with its ups and downs. It’s up to us to reverse the trend at the Bol d’Or.”

Yohei Kato – Team Director: “Of course, it’s a disappointment for us to finish in this position. There were two crashes but we could also see the performance of our team. Our tyres were very good. We also managed the consumption of the bike well. Everything worked well and we showed that we have the potential to win here. The championship is still open and we will fight at the Bol d’Or to get back to the lead.”

Xavier Siméon: “I am obviously very disappointed. Once again, the team did a very good job, which allowed us to be very competitive in the race, in a position we didn’t expect. Then there were some race events that worked against us this time. I’m really sorry for the team who gave 200% as usual. It’s a shame to finish the race with this result. We had all the elements in hand to fight for victory.”

Sylvain Guintoli: “It was the opposite of Le Mans for us. We started the race very well and then my crash disrupted our progress. But after that, we started off really well and the podium was within our reach. But Xavier was really unlucky. It’s a racing event, not his mistake. The bike was badly damaged in that second crash and we lost a lot of time. Overall I think we showed determination and good pace in the second part of the race. The positions are getting closer in the championship. This will make for an interesting race at the Bol d’Or.”

Gregg Black: “In practice we saw that there was a small gap between us and the two leading bikes. But our team worked well until the last minute, so I was efficient right away in the race. It was surprising to see how much we had improved. The conditions were difficult for everyone, but everything worked very well for us. Maybe too well. We shouldn’t have played the game of our opponents and secured a good place. But when a victory is in your grasp, it’s very hard to let your chance go. This time we paid the consequences. It’s a lesson to remember.”

YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL SUZUKI – HOUR-BY-HOUR STATS:

1: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 1st (35 laps)
2: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 1st (70 laps)
3: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 15th (101 laps)
4: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 10th (135 laps)
5: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 8th (170 laps)
6: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 6th (206 laps)
7: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 5th (241 laps)
8: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 24th (258 laps)
9: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 22nd (293 laps)
10: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 20th (328 laps)
11: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 17th (364 laps)
12: Yoshimura SERT Motul – 17th (400 laps)

 

More, from a press release issued by F.C.C. TSR Honda France:

F.C.C. TSR Honda France win the 12 Hours of Estoril

F.C.C. TSR Honda France took an incredible victory on Saturday winning the 12 Hours of Estoril, after completing 417 laps of the 4.182km Portuguese circuit aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.

Honda’s endurance specialists, Josh Hook, Mike Di Meglio and Yuki Takahasi fought hard aboard the Fireblade SP, and with consistent race pace they took the win despite the hot conditions.

The winning team at Estoril included Mike De Meglio, Josh Hook, and Yuki Takahashi. Photo courtesy EWC.
The winning team at Estoril included Mike De Meglio, Josh Hook, and Yuki Takahashi. Photo courtesy EWC.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France started the 12-hour race in fourth place with Di Meglio and after the first three hours of the race, the team were already sitting in third position. Thanks to consistent stints by the riders of the Honda #5, the Japanese team managed to move into second place by half race distance with consistently fast lap times.

Entering the last quarter of the race, they narrowed the gap with the leader of the race, putting pressure on Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar, who with just an hour and a half left of the race, ran out of petrol and had to enter the pits.

In the last 50 minutes of the race, Hook did the final stint and took the Fireblade #5 to the victory, taking the checkered flag one lap in front of the Kawasaki team.

The win sees the team collect 46 valuable points, which moves them into second place overall in the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship standings with a total of 82 points.

National Motos Honda on the #55 Fireblade also enjoyed a strong race. The trio of Guillaume Antiga, Stéphane Egea and Enzo Boulom, who started in 13th place on the grid (fourth in Superstock class), finished on the podium claiming second place.

After the fourth hour, the French team were leading the Superstock class, but by the middle of the race, they had lost laps due to the entrance of the safety car, and ran out of fuel, which demoted them to second place.

The third and next round of the FIM EWC Championship takes place on 18 September, with the legendary Bol d’Or at Circuit Paul Ricard in France.

Josh Hook 5, F.C.C. TSR Honda France: “Everybody did such a great job, we didn’t make any mistakes, we focused on our pace and just keep it throughout the race. For sure that we were lucky today but at the end we won, we knew our potential, and consistency paid off. Huge thanks to the team for the great work during the whole week.”

Mike Di Meglio 5, F.C.C. TSR Honda France:

“After a tough week, finishing in this way is a great reward. It’s all about endurance, you must never give up. I asked if I could attack in my last stint and that allowed us to put pressure on our opponents, some of whom made mistakes. We gave it all and we went all the way, it’s incredible.”

Yuki Takahashi 5, F.C.C. TSR Honda France:

“It was very hard for us since the beginning of the week but everyone has worked well to solve problems one step at a time. Today we gave it all and I am very happy for this victory.”

Race
Pos Team Constructor Pts
1 F.C.C. TSR Honda France Honda 46
2 WEBIKE SRC KAWASAKI France TRICKSTAR Kawasaki 39
3 BMW WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM BMW 36
4 VRD IGOL PIERRET EXPERIENCES Yamaha 29
5 MOTO AIN Yamaha 24
6 BMRT 3D MAXXESS NEVERS Kawasaki 0
7 ERC ENDURANCE-DUCATI Ducati 20
8 Team Bolliger Switzerland Kawasaki 19
9 National Motos Honda 0
10 YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC Yamaha 18
11 Wójcik Racing Team Yamaha 15
12 3ART BEST OF BIKE Yamaha 13
13 TEAM 18 SAPEURS POMPIERS CMS MOTOSTORE Yamaha 0
14 TEAM 33 LOUIT APRIL MOTO Kawasaki 0
15 SLIDER ENDURANCE Yamaha 0
16 Team LRP Poland BMW 10
17 YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL Suzuki 12
18 FALCON RACING Yamaha 0
19 NO LIMITS MOTOR TEAM Suzuki 0
20 ENERGIE ENDURANCE 91 Kawasaki 0
21 PITLANE ENDURANCE 86 Yamaha 0
22 JMA RACING – ACTION BIKE Suzuki 0
23 TRT27 BAZAR 2 LA BECANE Suzuki 0
24 British Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 0
25 WOJCIK RACING TEAM 2 Yamaha 0
26 RAC 41 CHROMEBURNER Honda 0
27 PLAYERS Kawasaki 0
28 MOTOBOX KREMER RACING Yamaha 8
29 TATI TEAM BERINGER RACING Kawasaki –
30 AVIOBIKE Yamaha –

 

More, from a press release issued by FIM World Endurance Championship:

NATIONAL MOTOS WIN EWC DUNLOP INDEPENDENT TROPHY AT ESTORIL

National Motos continued their excellent performance in the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy. Having finished in second place in the Superstock class in Portugal, the Honda team received the €4,000 prize awarded to the winner of the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy and maintained their position at the top of the FIM Endurance World Cup standings. Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers CMS Motostore and Team 33 Louit April Moto were the other two teams on the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy podium at Estoril.

Estoril 12 Hours EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy presentation. Photo courtesy FIM/EWC.
Estoril 12 Hours EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy presentation. Photo courtesy FIM/EWC.

In the saddle of the National Motos Honda, Stéphane Egéa, Guillaume Antiga and Enzo Boulom were in the running for the 1st place in Superstock, but were deprived of the win after running out of fuel. 9th overall at the finish and 2nd in the Superstock class, they won the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy and the accompanying €4,000 purse.

Despite a crash early on, Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers CMS Motostore performed superbly in the latter stages of the race and climbed onto the 3rd step of the Superstock podium, winning 2nd place in the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy with riders Hugo Clère, Johan Nigon and Matthieu Lussiana. The Yamaha-mounted independent team received a €3,000 EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy prize at the 12 Hours of Estoril.

Team 33 Louit April Moto’s Kawasaki was the 4th Superstock past the finish line, one lap behind the Sapeurs-Pompiers. Christian Gamarino, Corentin Perolari and Luca Vitali got off to a good start but had a difficult race in the heat at Estoril. Their determination enabled them to claim the €2,700 prize awarded to the 3rd-place winner of the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy at Estoril.

Seven other independent teams using Dunlop tyres were awarded prizes at the 12 Hours of Estoril. They received amounts ranging from €2,300 down to €500 for the team ranked 10th in the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy.

Renewed for the 6th successive season by FIM EWC promoter Eurosport Events, the organizers of each race in the FIM Endurance World Championship and tyre manufacturer Dunlop, the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy gives backing to privateer teams using Dunlop tyres who do not receive direct support from a constructor. €120,000 will be awarded this season to support teams participating in the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy.

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