YART YAMAHA WINS THE INAUGURAL WET & WILD SEPANG 8 HOUR.

YART YAMAHA WINS THE INAUGURAL WET & WILD SEPANG 8 HOUR.

Endurance race does need more than skills, stamina, physical, mental but also a little lady luck too as after a delayed start at 3 pm followed by the race being suspended due to heavy showers. The inaugural Sepang 8 hour race was restarted at 6 pm, which saw Michael van der Mark for Yamaha Sepang Racing (Pole Position) and Mike di Meglio for F.C.C. TSR Honda France battles outright at the front, with a gap of more than 6 seconds, after five laps but the two riders, unfortunately, crashed into each other. Mike Di Meglio quickly remounted and got back on the track while still leading the field.

In that incident, Michael van der Mark who had just passed Di Meglio, but then Di Meglio had a low-side and caused van Der Mark a high side at T15, had to return to the pits to get his bike fixed. Upon his return to the track, the Yamaha Sepang Racing team was in the 40th position.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France and YART Yamaha then came to contention, for the lead ahead of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa, Suzuki JEG Kagayama, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, Moto Ain (Superstock Category) and VRD Igol Pierret Experiences.  

More drama unfolded as Safety Car came out again, following another crash, saw the oil spill at T2.  

In the end, YART Yamaha with sole rider Niccolò Canepa won the Sepang 8 Hour despite an early electronics scare. The strategy of having a fast rider with experience of tricky track conditions bore fruit. Broc Parkes and Karel Hanika were however co-credited with the win. “We won it together,” said Niccolò Canepa at the post-race press conference. YART Yamaha finished ahead of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa, who ran a consistent race in the leading pack with Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi, Thai rider Somkiat Chantra and Indonesian Andi Farid Izdihar. The Japanese team’s cosmopolitan line-up had already done brilliantly in the Top 10 Trial, wresting 2nd place on the starting grid. BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team took 3rd place with its 2 riders Ilya Mykhalchyk and Markus Reiterberger. Their teammate Kenny Foray sustained an injury in practice and was unable to compete in the race. Yamaha Sepang Racing clawed back to finish in 7th with Franco Morbidelli clocked the fastest lap of 2:17.817 while BMW Sepang Racing (Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, Adam Norrodin, Julien Da Costa) finished in 8th position.

Superstock class winner Moto Ain steamed steadily ahead throughout the action-packed race to a fourth-place overall finish. The French Yamaha-mounted team consolidated their lead in the Endurance World Cup with riders Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser, and Hugo Clère, finishing ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Webike SRC Kawasaki France, who struggled in the challenging track conditions.

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