Yamaha take 2014 World Endurance Championship
The Yamaha Racing GMT94 Michelin Yamalube team has taken title victory in the 2014 FIM World Endurance Championship with the Yamaha YZF-R1. Riders David Checa, Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines made the last race of the season count yesterday, working tirelessly through the night to score second on the podium in the gruelling 24 Heures du Moto at Le Mans.
With several teams in the running for the title in the run up to last weekend’s race everything was to play for in the toughest road race in the world. The French team employed a brilliant strategy, working carefully through the practice and qualifying sessions to focus on their overall set up.
Having qualified in fifth position the team then dropped over 40 places in the first lap of the race when a crashing rider collided with David Checa. Luckily he was uninjured and the following incredible team effort then saw an unstoppable climb up the ranks. As the team rode through the night their skills and the abilities of the Yamaha YZF-R1 where put to the test as they swapped between rain and slick tyres to battle the changing elements. As dawn broke the team were securely in second place and held it to the race finish, closing the distance to the lead bike with every lap.
The podium finish delivered an impressive point score of 50 to take the team’s total to 141 points in the final standings, 37 ahead of their closest rivals.
GMT94 were not the only Yamaha team to put the R1 on the podium as the Yamaha Austria Racing team also put in an incredible ride to take third on the Le Mans podium. Riders Broc Parkes, Sheridan Morais and Michael Laverty started the weekend in style, securing third on qualifying with their R1.
Despite a small crash by Broc Parkes the team were consistently one of the fastest on track, quickly rising to third position and holding it to the line through the wet and dry circuit challenges for their hard earned podium finish.
YART’s third place gives them 43 points, taking their total to 70 in the final standings and placing them in sixth overall for the 2014 Championship.