YART top Bol d’Or test with new lap record| World Staff | World News
As preparations for the historic Bol d’Or and 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship finale continue, Yamaha sets the pace with a new lap record.
The Yamalube YART Yamaha Official EWC Team look confident of being able to fight for victory at the 24-hour contest after ending the two-day test at Circuit Paul Ricard firmly at the top of the combined times with a dominating 1’51.921 lap, almost half a second faster than the previous record.
100 years on from it’s inaugural running, the Bol d’Or clocks up its 85th edition in 2022, with the legendary 24-hour endurance race providing the opportunity for front-running YART to bounce back from two DNFs in the last two races and get their title ambitions back on track.
Heading into the final round of the season, the Austrian squad sits third in the overall standings, 34 points behind leaders Yoshimura SERT, but with 96.5 up for grabs in France alongside all five EWC trophies, everything is still to play for.
The full YART Yamaha #7 line up of Niccolò Canepa, Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz and reserve rider Robin Mulhauser were all on hand across the two-day test with two sessions on track each day. Ending Tuesday third overall with a 1’53.503 best, the improvement was clear to see on day two by claiming a new EWC lap record as Wednesday afternoon drew to a close. The 1’51.921 record-breaking pace set on race rubber while running over a second faster than last season’s best effort on a qualifying tyre.
After ending the two days on top of the combined timesheets, YART’s target for the race - scheduled for 15th-18th of September - is simple; win and score as many points as possible to give them the best chance of being crowned 2022 EWC champions.
“We have had another amazing test here in France,” Hanika confirmed from France. “We focused mainly on long runs and working out which tyre compounds worked best, which is not easy on this track with the long straight. On Wednesday, we made a big step forward, we still have some work to do on the suspension setup, but we still have time to fix this. Electronic-wise, the bike is working great, and all the guys did a great job.
“We managed a good long run, and yet we were fast for one lap too. We are looking forward to the race, and we have one goal in mind, victory!”
“It was a really good test,” Canepa added, despite only running on day one due to his MotoE commitments. “I was only riding for the first day, but we immediately found a good feeling with the YART R1. All of us were doing very fast lap times, but we had some ideas on how to improve on Wednesday. We spoke overnight to devise a bit of a plan for the second day.
“Looking at the new lap record, I am thrilled to see how much Marvin and Karel managed to improve; plus, they said they had made another step with the bike, which is great. I am excited about the race; the Bol d’Or is always tricky due to the long straight. Not many bikes make it to the finish, so our goal is to try and win the race and, of course, the championship!”
“We had a great two-day test,” Fritz concluded. “We had some small issues with chatter and other things on Tuesday, but we made a big step forward on Wednesday to improve the bike, especially with the geometry and suspension.
“The Bridgestone tyres worked superbly, which you can tell by the fact that we set the new lap record on a race, not a qualifying tyre, which is impressive.
“We feel we have found a perfect setup and feel positive. We have some more work to do in the workshop, but our only goal for the Bol d’Or is to win, and the whole team is working 100 per cent for this and I can’t wait!”