Ahead of the penultimate round of the current season, YART and Yamaha Motor Europe can confirm that all three riders will return in an unchanged line-up for the official Yamaha Endurance team for the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship.
Following an unlucky start to the season, the official Yamaha EWC team are eager to turn their fortunes around after a crash from the lead in Estoril pushed the squad back to tenth overall. Despite showing a strong pace in the season opener in Le Mans and again in Portugal, the team’s luck has not been with them – something they hope will be on their side this weekend for the 24-hour event.
Since the last round in Portugal, all three riders have been busy training ahead of the gruelling Bol d’Or; Karel Hanika and Marvin Frtiz both joined the World Superbike paddock at EWC’s newest venue, Most in the Czech Republic, while Niccolò Canepa has been on World Superbike test duty as well as having a successful weekend in the CIV at the Mugello circuit.
Since then, the trio completed a successful pre-event test at Paul Ricard, during which Mandy Kainz’s team focused on fine-tuning the set-up of their R1 ready for a demanding race. All three riders demonstrated a strong pace and are confident of a good result come Sunday.
After being dropped from the calendar in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the historic French venue returns to championship action with the Bol d’Or 24-hour. The Paul Ricard circuit, located in Le Castellet, Var, near Marseille – plays host to the third round of the 2021 season. Inaugurated in 1970, the famous 3.5-mile circuit has hosted a range of motorsport events, including the Motorcycle Grand Prix and Formula One.
1980 saw the first-ever Bol d’Or held at the Paul Ricard circuit and has not seen a Yamaha victorious since Niccolò Canepa helped team-mates David Checa and Mike Di Meglio to victory in 2017. YART were close to victory in 2018, finishing second – and again in 2019 but a crash, caused by no fault of their own – after severe weather disruptions, ended their hopes.
This week’s event also welcomes the long-awaited return of fans who are in for a thrilling battle at the Bol d’Or.
YART Yamaha heads into the next round of the season seventh in the standings while Yamaha leads the constructor’s championship by four points with 80 points total. As always for a 24-hour event, points will be awarded at the eighth and 16th hour with a maximum of 40 points up for grabs at the checkered flag. Five points will also be awarded for the pole sitter, meaning there’s a total of 65 points up for grabs.
The Austrian based team will kick off their 2021 Bol d’Or with Free Practice on Thursday ahead of the opening set of Qualifying sessions that afternoon. Qualifying concludes with three further sessions on Friday morning before the 24-hour event kicks off at 15:00 local time on Saturday 18th June.