28 February 2024
Watanabe back in EWC as newcomer Team Étoile completes line-up
Rookie squad Team Étoile has recruited FIM Endurance World Championship podium finisher Kazuki Watanabe for its maiden EWC campaign. The 33-year-old one-time MotoGP racer from Japan will contest the three European rounds of the Superstock-based FIM Endurance World Cup on Team Étoile’s BMW M1000RR equipped with Dunlop tyres, the exclusive supplier to the Superstock division.Under the guidance of Team Principal Takashi Ichikawa, Team Étoile, which has put in place a 10-year plan to reach the top in the EWC, has also finalised its rider line-up for the season-opening 24 Heures Motos from 18-21 April.With Hikari Okubo – who was announced as a Team Étoile rider along with Yudai Kamei last December – unavailable due to his clashing commitments in the FIM Supersport World Championship, Kyosuke Okuda will join Kamei and Watanabe at Le Mans. Rising talent Shogo Kawasaki, who brings experience from the Italian SS600 category, has been nominated as the outfit’s fourth rider for the first event of the year and the season-deciding Bol d’Or.
27 February 2024
The other EWC 24 Heures Motos line-up takes shape
While the entry list for the 47th edition of the 24 Heures Motos, the opening round of the 2024 FIM Endurance World Championship, is still some weeks away from being revealed, the event organiser, Automobile Club de l'Ouest, has confirmed the two headline rock’n’roll music acts. From 22h00 CET on Friday 19 April, Paris band Howlin’ Jaws will perform. The three-piece list The Beetles, The Kinks and The Small Faces among their influences. The four members of Glaswegian band The Silencers will then take to the music stage from 20h00 CET on Saturday 20 April. DJ Loran will perform sets before and after the two bands appear on Friday and Saturday.Meanwhile, tickets for the EWC season opener remain on sale with a four-day entrance ticket available for €85. More ticket information is available HERE.
26 February 2024
Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki names its four for EWC’s European three
Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki has named the four riders it will count on for FIM Endurance World Cup success in 2024 along with the support of 10 student mechanics.Grégory Carbonnel, Dorian Da-Ré, Vincent Ferré and Dylan Mille will ride its Dunlop-equipped, Superstock-specification Suzuki during the upcoming season.The French quartet will contest the three European rounds of the FIM Endurance World Championship, the 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans in France, the 8 Hours of Spa Motos and Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Bol d’Or at Circuit Paul Ricard in France.Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki is overseen by Damien Saulnier, Team Manager of the FIM EWC world-title winning Yoshimura SERT Motul operation and provides vocational training opportunities for students from the Le Mans Sud school.The 24 Heures Motos opens the 2024 EWC season from 18-21 April.
25 February 2024
Moments that made EWC 2023 great: Mackenzie takes debut podium
Tarran Mackenzie had never started an FIM Endurance World Championship event let alone finish on an EWC podium. However, all that changed during last August’s 44th Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race.British rider Mackenzie, then 27, had been called up to replace the injured Josh Hook at F.C.C. TSR Honda France and promptly joined new team-mates Mike Di Meglio and Alan Techer in claiming an eventual third-place finish.Although the World Supersport race winner had some experience of the ultra-demanding Suzuka Circuit from two test sessions, the EWC marked unchartered territory. And a podium seemed unlikely after Mackenzie fell during the Top 10 Trial, which left the 2022 EWC title-winning F.C.C. TSR Honda France team down in 10th place on the starting grid.Its hopes of a strong result then took another knock when Di Meglio fell during the opening hour of the race. But following a typically action-packed EWC round, F.C.C. TSR Honda France took the chequered flag in fourth position, which became third when TOHO Racing was stripped of the runner-up spot due to a technical infringement.“I didn’t think I could be racing, so my first Suzuka 8 Hours was difficult,” Mackenzie said at the time. “I let down the team, who are fighting for the championship, [by falling in the Top 10 Trial] but I’m relieved I managed to finish. I’d like to thank all our fans who supported us.”
24 February 2024
Dunlop partnership key to EWC podium push, says KM99
KM99 will continue to count on Dunlop tyres when it embarks on its second season in the FIM Endurance World Championship in 2024.The Belgian squad made its EWC debut in 2023 and placed 10th in the final FIM Endurance World Championship for Teams standings. In a post on Facebook, KM99 stated: “KM99 is pleased to announce the renewal of its partnership with Dunlop for the 2024 season.“Dunlop tyres have demonstrated their speed, reliability and efficiency throughout the 2023 season.“Dunlop’s continued support in 2024 is crucial to our progression and quest for the first podium. We are grateful to be able to count on them again”.As well as partnering with KM99 for a second EWC season, Dunlop is the exclusive supplier to the Superstock-based FIM Endurance World Cup.The 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans in France opens the 2024 EWC season from 18-21 April.
23 February 2024
Spanish test signals start of Teamracing85’s EWC bid
Teamracing85 has hit the ground running as it prepares for its maiden FIM Endurance World Cup bid.The French Superstock squad, which is set to contest the three European EWC rounds in 2024, completed two days of testing at Circuit Alcarràs in Spain earlier this week.Covering 250 laps with its Dunlop-equipped Kawasaki ZX-10R, Teamracing85 used the test to work on bike and electronic settings.Teamracing85 has recruited Germany's Johann Flammann, French duo Hugo Girardet and Thibaud Schmidt, plus experienced Italian rider Christian Napoli for the 2024 EWC season.It will be back in action during the Pre-Test for the 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans from 2-3 April.Photo: Facebook.com/teamracing85