The GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team and YART Yamaha Official EWC Team endured a drama filled 8 Hours of Oschersleben yesterday in the penultimate round of the 2017/18 Endurance World Championship. GMT94 held on to take a valuable third place on the podium, whilst YART were not so lucky, recording a DNF.
Oschersleben pole-sitters David Checa, Mike Di Meglio and Niccolò Canepa of GMT94 were quick off the start and showing immediate race winning pace until the first challenge of the race struck. In a repeat of last year, they were imposed a stop-and-go penalty for failing to turn their lights off during their pit-stop, ultimately shaving off their margin required to win the race. Undeterred they kept on pushing. Two safety car moments then provided further drama, the first bringing the rival race winners in striking distance of their goal, the second in the last moments of the race, bringing Kawasaki right in to a duel for third in the last lap. With just half a lap to go, Mike Di Meglio fell in the heat of the moment, but was able to get back on his damaged R1 and ride it across the line to secure the podium.
Slovakia Ring race winners YART Yamaha EWC arrived in Oschersleben determined to continue their race winning form make up for the less than perfect race experience of last year. With much improved tyre choices riders Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Max Neukirchner were confident of striking out for the podium. Unfortunately for the team luck was not theirs, and again they were face with big challenges. An overheating radiator with subsequent water leak caused Marvin to crash on the slippery liquid, the impact of the crash then causing the YZF-R1 to catch fire on a section of track where no fire extinguisher was immediately available. In true Endurance style Fritz was still able to get his R1 back to the garage where the team spent some considerable time working to return the machine to a race ready state. Ultimately the battle was lost and Team Director Mandy Kainz made the decision to stop, keeping the safety of the riders foremost in his mind.
The Oschersleben results mean GMT94 remain in second place in the Championship standings heading to the final round in Suzuka on 29th July, ten points behind their rivals.
Source: Yamaha Racing