Round 03 Slovakia
F.C.C. TSR Honda France Charges to Third at Slovakia
F.C.C. TSR Honda France overcame severe issues, fighting back to finish 3rd at the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring, Round 3 of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Freddy Foray / Mike di Meglio / Josh Hook) overcame severe issues, fighting back to finish 3rd at the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring, Round 3 of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship. Honda Endurance Racing (Randy de Puniet / Sebastien Gimbert / Yonny Hernandez) could not repeat their performance of the previous round, finishing second at Le Mans, having to settle for 8th place. F.C.C. TSR is now 5th overall in the points, while Honda Endurance Racing is 6th.
Erratic weather caused problems throughout race week. Qualifying on Thursday was in the wet, while the skies were sunny for the race. With three hours of the race remaining, rainfall caused headaches for the teams who had to choose between wet or dry tires.
#1 F.C.C. TSR Honda France
F.C.C. TSR Honda France were forced into the pits early in the race due to minor mechanical issues, and returned to the track in 27th place. Each of the team’s riders pushed hard to regain time lost, setting new lap records on their way. They made the best of the tricky weather conditions in the closing stages, and in the end were on the podium, finishing third.
Honda Endurance Racing were hot contenders to win until de Puniet veered off the track, losing precious time. But the time the rain started to fall, they were back in the fight for the lead, and by the end of Hernandez’s stint, they were running second. In the stint that followed, the team went with slick tires, which turned out to be the wrong choice as de Puniet slid off the track. Gimbert handled the final stint, and finished the race in eighth place.
Two races remain in this EWC season. The next race, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben is slated for June 19, to be followed by the Suzuka 8 Hours on July 28.
#111 Honda Endurance Racing
Masakazu Fujii | #1 F.C.C. TSR Honda France Team Manager
“We came to Slovakia to regroup from our dismal performance at Le Mans. We weren’t 100 percent, but we got the results. I’m not satisfied, but we raced a dogged, tough race which will put us in a good position for the next race. We’ll do our best in the last two races, closing the gap or hopefully catching up at Oschersleben, and regaining the lead at Suzuka.”
Randy de Puniet｜#111 Honda Endurance Racing
“For sure we are disappointed today because it is not the result we were hoping for. We were battling for the lead for almost the whole race and even in tricky conditions we were the fastest team on track. When I was out on slick tyres, it got wet and Yonny took over with soft rain tyres and we lost the first position. But he fought brilliantly to regain the first place and gave the bike back to me in the leading position. I went out again and we had put slick front and rear, but unfortunately I hit a wet patch and crashed. I am so sorry because we have a very good potential, we pushed a lot during all the race. My team and my teammates did a great job but I crashed and I am sorry for them. But this is racing – if you don’t push, you are not fighting for the victory. We now have one month to recover and to be ready for Germany and try to win there again.”
Sébastien Gimbert｜#111 Honda Endurance Racing
“This is racing, for sure. Of course we are disappointed. It was a big fight with YART but honestly if you want to win it is just necessary to push – they pushed for the win, and we pushed for the win and I gave my everything out there – as did Yonny and Randy. The corner that Randy crashed has very low grip even in the dry and for me I had some moments there as well, even after using wet tyres. With one hour to go, we were in first position, but after eight hours we finished eighth. We got some points and that is okay, especially as we proved we are amongst the fastest in this sport again. It is not long to go until Oschersleben, so we take the positives: we have earned some points and Randy has no injury, which is the main important thing.”
Yonny Hernandez｜#111 Honda Endurance Racing
“I am happy because all week was good for me. I think I have done a good job here and I think our team has done a really good job. We all work together perfectly and that’s important. What happened today is simply racing. We lost the win due to a crash, but I think Randy has done a great job in those tricky conditions out there – as it is always very difficult to ride with slicks in the wet. I think we have to take the positives – we were leading the race once again, had a good qualifying and we had a good week in general. I myself find my way better and better in this category. I hope in Germany we can fight for the victory again – and then hopefully until the end.”
#1 F.C.C. TSR Honda France
FIM Endurance World Championship 2018-2019
Round 3: Slovakia - 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring
|1||YART - YAMAHA / Yamaha|
|2||Suzuki Endurance Racing Team / Suzuki|
|3||F.C.C. TSR Honda France / Honda|
|4||WEPOL Racing / Yamaha|
|5||VRD IGOL PIERRET EXPERIENCES / Yamaha|
|6||Junior Team LMS Suzuki / Suzuki|
|8||Honda Endurance Racing / Honda|