YART Yamaha First Winners Of Sepang's EWC Race
Monday, 16th December 2019 – Malaysia’s first ever Endurance World Championship (EWC) race – the 8 Hours of Sepang on Saturday, 14th December ended with glory for YART Yamaha Racing; featuring the partnership of Australian Broc Parkes, Germany’s Fritz Marvin and Italian Niccolo Canepa, with South East Asian trio of Zaqhwan Zaidi, Andi Farid Izdihar, Somkiat from Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa coming in a close second.
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team; featuring Ukrainian Ilya Mikhalchik, German Markus Reiterberger and France’s Kenny Foray took overall third and for the EWC class in their BMW S 1000 RR machine; finishing one lap behind the Yamaha YZF-R1 of YART Yamaha.
The Superstock category was topped by Team MOTO AIN; featuring Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clere on a Yamaha YZF-R1 machine; with GERT56 and TONE RT SYNCEDGE 4413 BMW coming in second and third respectively for the class.
In a race interrupted by rain and competed under challenging racing conditions, the Austrian factory-backed team completed 80 laps around the 5,543-meter MotoGP track in what was effectively only three hours of actual competition; instead of the scheduled 8 hours of racing.
Commencing at 3.05pm as scheduled under safety car conditions, the race was suspended after 45 minutes due to heavy rain. After a meeting between race officials and team managers, the race was restarted at about 6pm for a three-hour contest.
First in qualifying, Yamaha Sepang Racing- featuring Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah, Fredrico Morbidelli and Michael van der Mark had to be contended with seventh placing, which was largely due an incident involving van der Mark and Mike di Meglio of FCC TSR Honda Yamaha in the early stages of the race while leading the race.
The Holland rider, however, managed to mount back on his bike, which was clearly damaged by the incident. Managing to return to the pits after eight minutes, the team immediately work on repairs before sending the Yamaha back on track. The trio fought back and Morbidelli eventually managed to finish the race in seventh place with the Italian rider managing the best lap of the race in the process with a time of 2 minutes 17.817 seconds.
Featuring the new Asia Road Racing Championship overall champion, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, Team BMW Sepang Racing finished a commendable eighth placing. Partnering compatriot Muhammad Adam Norrodin and France’s Julian da Costa, the trio completed 78 laps in their BMW S1000RR machine.