The YART Yamaha squad will field their traditional rider line up in Sepang, reuniting German rider Marvin Fritz, Italian Niccolò Canepa and Australian Broc Parkes, who was absent from the Bol d'Or due to commitments in the Asia Road Racing Championship, in which he finished second.
For Fritz this will be his first visit to the Sepang International Circuit, but it's a track that his two YART Yamaha teammates know well, especially Parkes, who raced twice at the track during the 2019 season, finishing on the podium in the opening round of the ARRC back in March.
All three riders head into the second round of the 2019/2020 EWC season determined to re-establish themselves as championship contenders with a good result in Sepang, after missing out on points at the season opening Bol d'Or race.
It's been a busy time for the YART Yamaha team since the Bol d'Or. Not only have they had to completely rebuild their number one race bike following it's destruction in the fire that ended their challenge for the win in France, they've also had to build bikes for several of their competitors, including the Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, who will make their EWC debut at their home race in Malaysia this weekend.
The Yamaha Sepang Racing Team will field a strong rider line up in Malaysia, with MotoGP stars Franco Morbidelli and Hafizh Syahrin racing alongside Yamaha WorldSBK rider Michael van der Mark aboard the #21 Yamaha R1. While van der Mark and Syahrin have prior endurance racing experience, both have contested the Suzuka 8 Hours previously and the Dutch WorldSBK rider is a four-time winner of the prestigious race, Morbidelli will be making his FIM EWC debut this weekend. While the race format may be new to the Italian, the bike he'll share with his two teammates will at least feel familiar, as Morbidelli regularly rides a Yamaha R1 on track as part of his training program for MotoGP races.
Also heading to Malaysia determined to fight for the podium is the Wojcik Yamaha EWC Supported Team, who currently lie second in the championship standings following their impressive second place in the opening round of the season. The team will field the same rider line up this weekend in Malaysia, with Gino Rea, Christoffer Bergman and Axel Maurin keen to repeat their podium success under the floodlights in Sepang.
The Moto Ain Yamaha World Cup Supported Team's trio of riders, Roby Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clere head to Malaysia looking to maintain their position at the top of the championship standings with another win to add to their victory in the Superstock class at the Bol d'Or.
The 8 Hours of Sepang is a new addition to the EWC calendar and is unique in that it will run alongside the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), with the two championships sharing track time throughout race week. The first ever 8 Hours of Sepang EWC race will take place on Saturday 14th December, with lights out at 13.00 local time, while the World Touring Cars will take to the track for three races on Sunday 15th December.