Honda had a bit of fun a few weekends back – and since we love all things two-wheeled here at MotorBikeWriter, let’s take a look at the stats.
The July 17-18 weekend showcased Honda racing teams speeding to success, thanks to a long-standing collaboration with French oil manufacturer Motul.
Here’s a breakdown of how everyone is doing so far:
FCC (Fuji Clutch Co.) TSR (Technical Sports Racing) Honda France snagged a win at the Cicuito do Estoril on the Portuguese Riviera. This was the team’s first victory for the FIM Endurance World Championship 2021 and one that showcased their partnership with Motul to a tee.
Team HRC also beat the heat and took advantage of the partnership with Motul by prettying up their CRF450RW with the Motul 300V Factory Line Off Road 5W-40 4T. Results were a success, with team HRC taking first place at MXGP of The Netherlands.
Honda’s National Motos (also supported by Motul) burned up the superstock class with a podium finish, awarding the team with the Dunlop Independent Trophy (Twice the charm!)
Thanks to Motul’s joint partnership with Honda, the Motul 300V Factory Line Racing Kit Oil 2376H 0W-30 ESTER Core® was created with the FCC TSR Honda France racing team in mind, with the oil engineered specifically for their CBR1000RR engine.
The results are nothing short of fantastic, providing the CBR1000RR with superior power output yet maintaining the full reliability of the machine.
Because of this excellent compatibility between bike and oil, Honda’s CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP remained reliable for over 400 laps.
Here are the more detailed specs on all of Honda’s racing team results:
FIM EWC QUALIFYING RESULTS
#5 F.C.C TSR Honda France CBR1000RR
The Team:Josh Hook | Yuki Takahashi | Mike Di Meglio
The Results: P3 in EWC class, P3 Overall (1:39.309)
#55 National Motos CBR1000RR
The Team: Stéphane Egea | Guillaume Antiga | Enzo Boulom
The Results: P4 in Superstock class, P13 Overall (1:41.233)
FIM EWC RACE RESULTS
#5 F.C.C TSR Honda France CBR1000RR
The Team: Josh Hook | Yuki Takahashi | Mike Di Megli
The Results: P1 in EWC class, P1 Overall (417 laps completed, Fastest Lap – 1:39.801)
#55 National Motos CBR1000RR
The Team: Stéphane Egea | Guillaume Antiga | Enzo Boulom
The Results: P2 in Superstock class, P9 Overall (407 laps completed, Fastest Lap – 1:41.171)
FIM MXGP RACE RESULTS
#243 Team HRC CRF450RW
The Team: Tim Gajser | Mitch Evans
The Results: P3 in Grand Prix Race 1 (20 Points), P2 in Grand Prix Race 2 (22 Points), P1 Overall (42 Points)
Our hats off to the young racers – looking forward to seeing what Motul and Honda give us next!
The Japanese-backed F.C.C. TSR Honda France team have clinched victory at Le Mans, ahead of Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, with SERT continuing to lead the championship standings with a 40-point lead.
Three different constructors and three different tyre manufacturers stood on the 2020 24 Heures Motos podium. Bridgestone-shod F.C.C. TSR Honda France notched up their second win at Le Mans with riders Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike di Meglio.
At the end of the first eight hours of the 43rd edition of the 24 Heures Motos, F.C.C. TSR Honda France were still holding on to first place and scored the 10 bonus points awarded after the first third of the race. The team spent the whole night at the front of the pack, maintaining the lead over their rivals, to collect a further 10-point bonus at the end of the 16th hour. During the night, Di Meglio even set the race lap record with 1’36.985. The trio of riders did not make any mistakes during this picture-perfect race and eventually crossed the line taking the chequered flag to win the 24-hour race.
Making their first outing on the track using Michelin tyres, Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar defended their second place to the last thanks to Jérémy Guarnoni, Erwan Nigon and David Checa. They finished one lap ahead of Dunlop-shod Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon), who held second on hour four, before settling into third overnight.
Unfortunately, two hours from the finish, Black was involved in a collision with a lapped rider and needed to come into the pits for a quick repair and after five minutes, the team – headed by Damien Saulnier – was back on track in third position; a position they held until the flag.
Following a crash early on in the race, YART Yamaha pushed hard to get back into the leading pack. Throughout the night, YART were the quickest team on track, taking advantage of the grip provided by the Bridgestone slicks in the cooler, dry conditions. Chasing down fourth position, Hanika powered through a wet Sunday morning before Canpea took over as the track dried out, closing the gap to BMW in fourth, catching and passing them with just over three hours to go.
YART’s podium chances were reignited with two hours remaining after a crash for the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who were running second at the time. Despite the best efforts of the Czech rider, he couldn’t match the pace of the repaired Suzuki, who strapped on the dry tyres while Hanika was still on wets. YART Yamaha turned their attention to bringing the bike home in fourth, which they were able to successfully do. YART’s Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa finished in fourth place, five laps behind the winners.
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, solidly anchored in fifth place, lost their position after Ilya Mykhalchyk crashed at the tail end of the race. The factory BMW team were unable to cross the finish line and therefore not classified. The late-stage drama enabled F.C.C. TSR Honda France to shoot up to second place in the provisional championship standings.
It also benefited VRD Igol Pierret Experiences, who inherited fifth place, ahead of 3ART Best of Bike and Polish team Wójcik Racing Team, which included Australian Broc Parkes alongside Gino Rea and Axel Maurin – who became winners of the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team now leads the standings from F.C.C. TSR Honda France, with Yamalube Yamaha EWC Official Team by YART third overall.
As a result of the fickle weather and constantly changing track conditions, the teams were under pressure for the entire 24 hours of this year’s race. Stray showers in the final stages of the race forced the teams into some chancy tyre strategy.
The race also threw the FIM Endurance Championship open. Five of the six factory teams are grouped together at the top of the provisional standings with less than a month to go for the final, which will play out on Saturday 26 September at the 12 Hours of Estoril in Portugal.
Ducati is missing from that group, despite some great performances by Team ERC Endurance all weekend long. The German team did their utmost to stay within striking reach of the leading pack at Le Mans. But they ran into a number of problems, running out of fuel, crashing more than once and experiencing technical issues, ultimately withdrawing at the end of the night with an electrical problem.
A BMW team won for the first time this season by dint of running a flawless race in the Superstock class with riders Stefan Kerschbaumer, Lucy Glöckner and Toni Finsterbusch. GERT56 by GS Yuasa’s win ahead of No Limits Motor Team and Moto Ain also throws open the FIM Superstock World Cup. Moto Ain, who finished on the podium despite multiple crashes, still top the provisional standings, but the points gaps are narrower on the eve of the final at Estoril.
Two other teams in this category lost their chance at the overall win. BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers and Wójcik Racing Team withdrew after several crashes.
The only Aprilia-mounted team, local squad and 24 Heures Motos regular Aprilia Le Mans 2 Roues, were given the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy. After Nelson Major crashed, Eddy Dupuy and Marco Boué pushed on throughout the night as a two-man team to keep Aprilia in the race. The Aprilia #15 crossed the finish line in 27th place with Nelson Major making a comeback to take the pressure off his teammates. Their combative spirit won them the trophy launched in memory of Anthony Delhalle.
Josh Hook – F.C.C. TSR Honda France – P1
“It was an unbelievable race! We headed in this weekend with the new bike, the team had only few months to prepare it and we arrived here and got the job done. The new Honda Fireblade SP is amazing, straight out of the box it’s already competitive and surprised us all, riders and team, because we went faster on that bike than on any other bike directly. We kept on improving the bike and we arrived in Le Mans with a bike that was able to win the race, and we knew that from the start. A massive thank you to the team and our partners that worked so hard to get this new bike up and running. They deserve this victory and I’m happy that Freddy, Mike and myself were able to do it!”
Freddy Foray – F.C.C. TSR Honda France
“When you look back, you realise that the Fireblade made its first steps and won the race today. I just want to say a big thank you to this team for achieving an incredible performance because at the start of the week we didn’t know what to expect from a bike that started from scratch. Sharing this with the team and my teammates is fantastic too. I would like to congratulate Mike for riding really well and also Josh who was injured and made it through to the end. This is the second win we’ve shared here with the team and it’s great. A few weeks ago we didn’t even know if it would be possible to race because of the sanitary situation and today we are in Le Mans and we won the race, it’s just magic!”
Mike Di Meglio – F.C.C. TSR Honda France
“It was a crazy race! Right from the start I thought that the race pace would be much faster, and as we were starting from a new machine I was ready to accept to let my rivals go. I made a good start and I was second behind Gregg Black, who I quickly overtook at the end of the first lap, and then I started to ride with my own pace. I was quite surprised to see that I was able to build up a gap so I calmed things down a bit during the first stint. When a few competitors started to make mistakes with the tricky conditions, we chose to stay focused on our pace. Then during the night, I started to understand how the bike worked and to have fun with it, and I set quite good lap times. The team did a really fantastic job on the new Fireblade SP, we trained as much as we could during the whole Covid period and we won in the end, that’s great.”
Damien Saulnier (Team Manager) – Suzuki Endurance Racing Team – P3
“For sure, we are always aiming for victory but after this very complicated race, with changing weather conditions and many twists and turns, I’m really satisfied with this third place, especially since it’s a great deal for us in the championship. We are still leading the championship but it’s not over yet. There is still one race left and in Endurance you never know what can happen until you cross the finish line! Once again, I would like to thank all the technical staff and the riders for the great work they did. I am very proud of them. I would also like to thank the ACO and Eurosport Events for the organisation of this event in a complex sanitary context. And last but not least, a big thank you to our sponsors for their strong support despite the difficult year that we have all experienced.”
Karel Hanika – YART Yamaha EWC Official Team – P4
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow. We were, of course, aiming to be higher in the standings. I’m very sorry for the crash in my first stint. I felt good on the bike, and when the rain came, I didn’t feel like I was pushing, but when I arrived at the corner, there was more water than I expected and slipped off breaking the handlebar. We lost a lot of time, but from there we did our best, each rider was strong and the team did a great job. We were the fastest on the track, we could do 1:37s, but in the end, we did well to come back to P4 – not the podium we were hoping four but got good points. We are still able to fight for the championship in Estoril, but it’s tough to go to Portugal with no trophy here in Le Mans. I want to thank the team for standing by me, it’s my first crash in an Endurance race, but we all stuck together and did our best to recover. Bridgestone supported us a lot, Yamaha has made a great bike, so I thank everyone in our team, and we can bounce back stronger in Estoril.”
Broc Parkes – Wójcik Racing Team – P7
“We got it! Team 77 after 793 laps finish the legendary 24 Heures Motos race in a great seventh place! We also won the Dunlop Trophy. Unfortunately, after 14 hours of the competition due to the failure, the Polish National Team fell off 🇵🇱 777, but the boys also showed an amazing class. Thank you! See you in four weeks in Estoril at the FIM EWC final.”
Josh Hook, Freddy Foray and Mike Di Meglio have claimed the 8 Hours of Oschersleben win in the Endurance World Championship for F.C.C. TSR Honda France, from Team SRC Kawasaki France (who now lead the FIM Endurance World Championship) and VRD Igol Pierret Expériences. With a 4th-place finish, Moto Ain claimed both the Superstock win and the FIM Endurance World Cup.
The podium was starting to look like a done deal, with four of the favourites battling it out in the lead from the race start, when big drama shook things up an hour and a half before the finish at Oschersleben. YART Yamaha’s engine failure while they were locked in battle with F.C.C. TSR Honda France for the win caused Honda Endurance Racing, then in 4th place, to crash, throwing the end of the race wide open.
Broc Parkes – YART
“The Oschersleben 8 Hour ended for us about 1.5hrs from the end, Marvin was on the bike when it caught fire on track and they had to bring it back on the trailer. We were leading the race and had a good chance of the win. There’s nothing else we could have done today, we all rode great, no mistakes and consistent pace so its a shame it had to end early.”
F.C.C. TSR Honda France, the 2018 race winner, triumphed ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki France. The Kawasaki riders Jérémy Guarnoni, David Checa and Erwan Nigon made it to the second step of the podium. Most importantly, they lifted the factory Kawasaki to the top of the provisional standings in the run-up to the grand finale at Suzuka.
For VRD Igol Pierret Expériences (Florian Alt, Florian Marino and Xavier Siméon), their third-place podium finish was as good as a win. The Yamaha-supported team secured their first podium in their first Formula EWC season.
Fourth-place finishers Moto Ain also savoured victory. Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Stefan Hill led the Superstock class for 204 of the total 303 laps run. They secured the Superstock win at Oschersleben ahead of Wójcik Racing Team 2 and BMRT 3D Maccio Racing. Above all, they won Moto Ain’s first-ever FIM Endurance World Cup.
Their battle with GERT56 by GS Yuasa for the Cup was closely fought. The BMW-mounted German team, who were leading the world standings before Oschersleben, finished the race in 13th place after running out of fuel and experiencing electrical issues.
The Superstock teams were particularly competitive in Germany. Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers ran a solid race in 9th place to win the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy singling out the fighting spirit of an entire team. No Limits Motor Team and Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto, 11th and 12th at the finish, also delivered a noteworthy performance. Junior Team LMS Suzuki were a contender for the FIM World Cup early on in the race, but a crash relegated them to 17th at the finish line.
Like Junior Team LMS Suzuki, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team had a tough race with two crashes and finished 10th. The standings leader before the race in Germany, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will get to Suzuka with a five-point lag behind Team SRC Kawasaki France.
Another of the favourites who got unlucky were ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance. They got off to a good start, but finished 19th after colliding with another bike.
These upsets should not overshadow two excellent performances at Oschersleben. Fany Gastro BMW Motorrad by Mercury Racing (Karel Hanika, Ondrej Jezek and Ladislav Chmelik) secured their finest result this season with a 5th-place finish. Likewise, Webike Tati Team Trick Star were 7th at the finish. Julien Enjolras and Kevin Denis had clearly got the measure of their new EWC Kawasaki with the help of Bastien Mackels at Oschersleben.