Another successful Endurance World Motorcycle Championship event for the Slovak team Yamaha Maco Racing. After the 4th place in the 24-hour race in Bol d´Or, the initial event of the series, the team was doing very well also in the second French 24-hour race in Le Mans and in spite of minor difficulties, it ended up on the excellent 8th position. In the ongoing ranking of the series, the team is on the 6th position as the most successful private team in the chart.
During the training time, the well-established and successful trio of riders – Marko Jerman, Greg Junod and Anthony Dos Santos, together with the whole team, tried their best to prepare the motorcycle for the race, the proof of which was also the 19th position on the starting grid. After start of the race, the team´s Yamaha appeared in the classification steadily on higher positions and with the fall, the Slovak team was already on the 10th position. However, exactly in the quarter of the race, the motorcycle had a failure and the repair caused a loss of seven rounds and six positions in the rank. Thanks to the concentrated ride, the team managed to move up to the 9th position, but due to health problems of Greg Junod, the team had to continue with only two riders – rather a difficult situation 11 hours before the end of the race. But the team managed to achieve the goal to remain in the Top 10 and in the end of the race, the team, already with Junod, reached the 8th final position.
Martin Kuzma, team owner:
„We concentrated our strategy for the 24-hour race in Le Mans particularly on the night part where we wanted to move up as high as possible in the ranking by using the entirely new engine with lower consumption. However, in the quarter of the race, we had a small technical problem and due to its repair, we lost seven rounds and we fell from the 10th to 16th position. Although it was not easy to resume the lost position because the competitors ahead did not make any significant mistakes, we gradually managed to ascend to the 9th position. But at 4.00 a.m., Greg Junod fell out due to sudden health problems, and we had to face a ride with only two pilots. Therefore, we only concentrated on maintaining the position with the aim to endure to the end. Luckily, Greg Junod recovered before the end of the race and intervened in the fight. Thanks to that, we managed to reach the 8th place and the result makes the whole team very happy. During the race, we also wanted to gain bonus points but we succeeded only after sixteen hours. Yet, it helped us reach the 6th position in the ongoing ranking of the Championship, and we are the first from among private teams. I would like to thank the riders for their excellent performance and also the whole team for their diligent work during the winter on preparation of this event. In the end, the success showed up. I would also like to thank our partners and all our fans who kept their fingers crossed both in Le Mans and at home.”
The World Championship continues on May 20, 2017 in Oschersleben, Germany as 8-hour race.