The Yamaha Austria Racing Team come into the 43rd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as one of the favourites thanks to their heroic ride in December's Sepang 8-hour. The inaugural Malaysian event proved tough for everyone with rain delaying proceedings, however, that didn't stop YART Yamaha and Niccoló Canepa who stormed to victory in the shortened three-hour race.
Thanks to their victory last time out, Mandy Kainz's Yamaha team return to France for the latest round of the 2020 EWC championship lying fourth in the overall classification, just behind fellow Yamaha squad, Wojcik Racing. The team will be aiming to take more points at this weekend's event; the YART Yamaha team has had previous success at the 2.6-mile French circuit, standing on the top step in 2009 and has claimed a further four podium finishes.
The team will field their highly experienced line-up with the first Italian FIM EWC Champion and 2017 Le Mans 24 hour winner, Niccoló Canepa, partnered with 2016 IDM Superbike Champion and previous Endurance race-winner Marvin Fritz, and former Red Bull Rookies and European Moto3 champion, Karel Hanika, who will make his first proper start with the YART Yamaha YZF-R1 at the renowned 24-hour event.
The Wojcik Racing Team come into Le Mans looking to fight back from a non-finish in Sepang. The team will once again run British Superbike rider, Gino Rea, Frenchman Axel Maurin, Australian Broc Parkes and Polish rider Maceli Bezulski. The polish-based Yamaha team are determined to fight for the podium to keep themselves within a title chance come the season finale in Portugal.
The Moto Ain Yamaha World Cup Supported Team's trio of riders, Roby Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clere will be looking to protect their lead in the Independent team and FIM World Cup standings. They currently lead the independent championship by 14 points over Wojcik Racing Team, in a Yamaha top-five lockout.
Completed in 1966, the famous 4.185km Bugatti circuit located in north-western France has seen various changes to the course. The current layout has been in use since 2008 and provides spectacular racing. Its high and low-speed corners mixed with heavy braking zones, fast changes of direction and unpredictable weather are what makes Le Mans and the 24 Heures Motos one of the most challenging and rewarding events on the calendar. However, the YART Yamaha team is prepared to face any challenge, starting with practice, commencing on Wednesday at 17:00 local time.
Qualifying for the prestigious event begins on Thursday at 17:00 with a second session on Friday, starting at an earlier time of 13:00. The flag will drop for the main event on Saturday at midday and will finish on Sunday 30th August.