Japanese Honda team F.C.C. TSR Honda France are still leading the 24 Heures Motos 19 hours in, and still being tailed by Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Webike SRC Kawasaki France after a night that proved disastrous for Ducati ERC Endurance.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France have held on to the lead since the 3rd hour of racing. Their new CBR 1000 RR matched with Bridgestone tyres would seem to be the perfect combination for the changing track conditions at Le Mans this weekend. The Japanese squad are holding the competition at bay. Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar looked to be their most dangerous rivals for a lengthy spell. The Kawasaki team had got to grips with their new Michelin tyres, but lost a little time over a mechanical issue at around 2 o’ clock in the morning. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Dunlop) seized the opportunity to move up into 2nd place.
After leading in the early part of the race, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team (Dunlop) crashed, then repositioned themselves in 4th place. Pole sitters YART Yamaha (Bridgestone) suffered an identical mishap, but managed to climb back up to 5th place.
A trio of independent Yamaha-mounted teams is hot on the heels of these factory teams: VRD Igol Pierret Experiences, Wójcik Racing Team and 3ART Best of Bike (despite an engine overheating scare).
The factory Ducati team ERC Endurance could have joined the clutch of factory bikes in the lead had they not experienced one problem after another: running out of fuel, spills and technical issues. The team hung on grimly each time and returned to the track to climb back up the rankings. But the Ducati Panigale V4R was eventually forced to withdraw with an electrical problem towards 5.30am.
In 9th place at 7am, German team GERT56 by GS Yuasa are running a flawless race and currently lead the Superstock class ahead of Italy’s No Limits Motor Team. Despite several crashes, Moto Ain remain a Superstock podium contender ahead of Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto.
Maco Racing Team are in among the Superstock teams, lapping in 11th place.
The rain and tricky track conditions shattered the hopes of some well-placed teams. In the Top 10 early on, National Motos withdrew due to engine failure just over 2 hours into the race. BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers and RAC41 Chromeburner, both among the Top 5 Superstock teams in the first few hours, threw in the towel after crashing repeatedly. A crash also forced Wójcik Racing Team 2 to withdraw in the middle of the night.
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