2022 Bol d’Or: YART Yamaha ready to ‘give it everything’ for EWC title

| | World News
Picture: Yamaha Racing

Yamalube YART Yamaha still has one eye on the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship as the season climax arrives at Circuit Paul Ricard.

The 2022 season will mark the 100th anniversary of the first ever running of the Bol d’Or, and the 85th edition of the legendary French race. While the tracks may have changed over the last century, the 5.637km Le Castellet circuit has been an EWC host since 2015.

Heading into the final round, YART Yamaha’s Niccolò Canepa, Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz, and Reserve Rider Robin Mulhauser still have a chance of being crowned champions after being on the podium at the season opener, despite DNFs from the lead of the Spa 24-Hours and the podium battle last time out at Suzuka.

Currently third in the overall standings on 93 points, and 34 behind the current leaders, the season finale is set to mix things up for the YART squad. 60 points are on offer for victory this weekend plus a further ten awarded to the top ten teams at the eight and 16-hour mark of the race, with an additional five points available to the fastest qualifiers. The potential 85 tally could therefore turn the standings on its head.

Consistently fast throughout the season, Yamaha has form at the Bol d’Or too, with a second-place finish at Circuit Paul Ricard during the 2018-2019 season and four further podiums to their name at the historic race.

After smashing the EWC lap record by almost half a second at the recent Pre-Test, YART Yamaha used Tuesday to work through some different Bridgestone tyre compounds and to fine-tune a few things with the #7 R1. A couple of race simulations later and the whole team left the test confident of fighting for not only the victory but also the championship as the season concludes.

“We were delighted with the work done during Tuesday test, as we managed a couple of race simulations and tried all of the new compounds Bridgestone had brought us,” Canepa said ahead of the final round. “We improved the bike even more since the Pre-Test, so we are delighted with the work done, and I want to thank the team for their efforts.

“This is the season’s last round; you never know what can happen in endurance racing, and we will give it everything.

“We tried a few small improvements during Tuesday’s test, focusing on the bike balance and the Bridgestone tyres we will use for the race, as the grip levels were quite different from the Pre-Test two weeks ago,” Hanika added. “We then did a race simulation at the end, using some different compounds, and some found some really good solutions. I am happy, my teammates are fast, and we can’t wait to get started on Thursday; thanks to all of the team for their hard work.”

“We worked hard during Tuesday’s test; we were allowed two bikes on the track, so we could focus on dialling in the settings,” Fritz concluded. “We already had a very strong pace at the Pre-Test, but today we made some more steps forward. We tried some different tyre compounds, and I think we can be fast in any conditions. The race looks like it will be a bit colder, but we are ready, and we can’t wait to start the action on Thursday to finish the season in the strongest way possible.“