Yamaha Teams Eager to Resume Battle in Oschersleben2017-05-16 14:49
The YART Yamaha Official EWC Team and GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team are all set for round three of the 2016/2017 FIM Endurance World Championship at Oschersleben this weekend, a track that has proven to be a happy hunting ground for them both in the past. Fresh from their 1-2 at Le Mans, where the GMT94 squad emerged victorious by less than 20 seconds after an epic 24-hour duel, both teams will be looking to produce a similar performance at the 8-hour race in Germany to close the gap in the standings to the championship leaders.
The YART Yamaha Official EWC Team arrive in Germany full of confidence after their second place at Le Mans, and a successful private test in Slovakia. The team made use of the test to continue their adaptation to riding the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1 with partner Bridgestones tyres. They have a good record at Oschersleben having tasted victory in 2009 and finishing on the podium a further six times since 2002. They also led for the majority of the 2016 race at the track, before a technical fault with two hours to go robbed them of the chance of victory, so they know what it takes to be fast around the 3.667 km circuit. Australian Broc Parkes and Japanese rider Kohta Nozane are keen to get back on track at what is effectively the teams home round, and they have also been boosted by the news that Marvin Fritz has been passed fit to ride this weekend after his crash in the WorldSBK race at Assen less than three weeks ago. The GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team have an incredible record at Oschersleben, taking seven podiums, including five victories in just 8 races at the German track, and it was also the scene of their first EWC victory in 2000. Currently third in the standings and fresh from their victory at Le Mans, the team are excited to get back into action as they look to close the 24-point gap the championship leaders. They won last years race at the track by over 21 seconds and are confident they can be fighting for the victory once more in 2017, plus they are looking forward to resuming their friendly rivalry with the YART Team. The two are excellent benchmarks for each other as they use almost identical machinery and equipment, the only difference being the riders and the fact that the GMT94 team use Dunlop tyres.
Experienced Spaniard David Checa will line up on the grid once more alongside Mike De Meglio from France and the Italian Niccoló Canepa. The 2014 champions are looking for their second win of the season and know how vital every round of the championship can be after missing out on the title by just one point at the same track last year, despite emerging victorious in the race.
The Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, known for being fast, smooth and flowing, first featured on the EWC calendar in 1999, originally as a 24-hour race before switching to the current 8-hour format in 2008. The circuit itself is located 30 kilometres from the town of Magdeburg in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, and consists of seven left and seven right-handed corners, with a longest straight of 680m.
The on-track action in Germany kicks off on Thursday at 10am local time with free practice, qualifying begins on Friday at 10:30am, and Saturdays 8-hour race is scheduled to start at 2pm.
Broc Parkes Broc Parkes
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team
I am looking forward to this race, its always been a good circuit for me. The Le Mans 24hr showed we have the pace to win races. We almost won here last year, so our goal is to try and win it this time, as its been a while since we have stood on the top step of the podium. Its also important for us to win as its kind of a home race for the team, being from Austria. We have all been boosted by the great news that Marvin is fit after his accident in Assen, plus we had a successful test in Slovakia. It gave me more understanding of the Bridgestone tyres, so I think we are in an even better position than we were in Le Mans.
David Checa David Checa
GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team
For me, Oschersleben is a really good track! In my first race in Oschersleben with the team in 2003, we won. In 2004, not only did we win the race, we won the championship as well, which was my first title with the team and Yamaha. Out of 7 races there I have 4 victories, two podiums, and one fifth place finish, although that was when a rider crashed in front of me, which caused me to crash! I think if we can avoid an incident like this, we have a very good chance to win the race. It would be great if we could get a Yamaha 1-2 like we did at Le Mans. We are very evenly matched with the YART team, and both teams can win the race. I respect racing and know it is difficult to win every time, so if we can get the 1-2 that would be great, but obviously, our goal is to do our best. The new R1 is perfect, as you can tell from the results we have managed so far with it. The bike is really light and powerful, plus it can hold some incredible lines through the corner, which makes it perfect for endurance racing. In fact, it is pretty much the perfect endurance bike and it will really suit the fast and flowing nature of the track, so we feel confident we can fight for the win.
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team Manager
We are quite positive for the race, we are fast here every year. With Marvin, Broc and Kohta we have some of the fastest guys around, but it all depends on luck. The last two years we didnt have good luck, we were always the fastest, but not very lucky! We had a perfect race at Le Mans with no mistakes, so we just hope to be one position better in Germany. The test in Slovakia went well, and we spent the time working with the Bridgestone tyres. Its great to have Marvin back and fit, he is focused and raring to go at his home round.
GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team Manager
We are very, very excited to be at Oschersleben, its a track that will really suit our bike, and after the Le Mans victory, we can be very confident. We know that YART will be very strong, but I am very happy to see the battle between us because the level of YART is also very high. We must not forget the others, but for me, the closest rival will be YART. We are all the part of the Yamaha family but it is great to have them as rivals as well, as everything is the same apart from the tyres. The weekend should be very exciting, we have an excellent record at the track, plus we are feeling strong and after winning last year we are ready to fight for the victory once more!
Source: Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.
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