Yamaha brings endurance title chase to Bol d’Or season finale
The 2015 FIM Endurance World Championship season will end on a high this weekend with the 79th edition of the iconic Bol d'Or 24 Hour race on the 19th and 20th of September.
The round in Castellet (France) marks the end of the four-races long season that currently sees GMT94 Yamaha in contention for the championship title in what is the ultimate test for both man and machine.
After a stunning victory at the eight-hour race in Oscherleben four weeks ago, GMT94 Yamaha hold second place in the standings, 23 points behind the championship leader, and have their eyes fixed on the Endurance World Championship trophy with still 60 points up for grabs.
This weekend they will be riding with a special yellow 60 year anniversary livery, making them even more eager to rise up for the challenge and underline Yamaha Motor's 60 year racing milestone. Their brand new Yamaha YZF-R1 and its riders David Checa, Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines will be put to the test during 24 hours of non-stop racing at a circuit that is known for its extremely long straight, making finding the right balance for engine power key. However, Team Manager Christophe Guyot has led his team to victory in 2007's Bol d'Or and the team has won the Endurance World title chase twice in 2004 and 2014.
Like GMT94 Yamaha, the Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team will also be sporting the 60 year anniversary livery as a part of Yamaha Motor's 60 year anniversary celebrations and are equally excited to return to action. They showed a blistering pace at the previous round in Oschersleben, where they stormed to a well-deserved third place, and continued to make strides in the official test at Circuit Paul Ricard two weeks ago, positioning themselves as key protagonists.
Though the YART team is yet to stand on the top step of the podium at Bol d'Or, they have enjoyed four podium finishes and aim to gift Yamaha the victory this year.
YART's Team Manager, Mandy Kainz, is fixed on scoring another top result this weekend and has come fully prepared for battle. His strong rider line-up for the upcoming weekend will consist of Broc Parkes, Iván Silva and Sheridan Morais. They will be joined by Max Neukirchner, who returns from a hip injury he sustained at the Nürburgring three months ago in the Superbike*IDM International German Championship. A final decision on which three of the four riders will be taking part in the gruelling 24-hour race will be made on Friday.
Bol d'Or was first organized by Eugene Mauve in 1922. At the time the race included motorcycles and automobiles, but was later made solely for motorcycles. The race used to be held at Le Mans, but was later moved to Circuit Paul Ricard, then to Magny-Cours, to be moved back to Circuit Paul Ricard after fifteen years following last winter's renovation that made the track more modern and safer.
The 5,861 km circuit was created by Paul Ricard in 1970 and has hosted 14 Grand Prix of France of Formula 1, 22 Bol d'Or and 12 MotoGP races. The relocation of Bol d'Or makes little difference in the visitors. As endurance is a popular category of racing in France thousands of fans camp outside of the track, giving the weekend an incredible atmosphere.