Malaysia’s year end rainy weather saw a drastically shortened first ever FIM Endurance World Championship race in Sepang. Scheduled to run over eight hours, rain started falling at around noon and did not let up till the late hours of the evening.
Start was delayed and after some deliberation with race officials and team managers, the EWC took off behind the safety car. After a stint on the very wet track, riders elected to pull in and after a riders meeting, the race was delayed to six p.m.
YART Yamaha Racing with rider Niccolo Canepa in the saddle throughout took the race win in a time of 5:50:03.837 over a total of 80 laps, recording a team best lap time of 2:18:616 along the way. In second place was Honda Asia-Dream Racing with Showa with Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi, Thai rider Somkiat Chantra and Indonesian Andi Farid Izdihar, coming in with a total time of 5:51:53.549 and a team best of 2:20.692.
Third place went to riders Ilya Mykhalchyk and Markus Reiterberger of BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, podium finishers at the EWC round in Bol d’Or, who raced a total of 79 laps in a total time of 5:50:35.678, one lap behind the race winner. Despite the wet conditions, the BMW team managed a team best lap time of 2:22.090.
In the Superstock (SST) class, French team Moto Ain placed fourth overall and winning the SST race in a time of 5:50:46.957 and a team best lap time of 2:20.927. Second in category went to German team Gert56 by GS Yuasa on a BMW Motorrad S1000RR with a total race time of 5:52:22.086, who came in 14th overall.
Race favourites Yamaha Sepang Racing team, crewed by MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli, Malaysian racer Hafizh Syahrin and World Superbike Championship rider Michael Van Der Mark, managed seventh place, despite dominating the early part of the EWC Sepang round. A mid-race collision between Van Der Mark on his Yamaha YZF-R1 and Mike di Meglio of F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Honda CBR1000RR saw both riders hitting the tarmac.
Pitting to repair crash damage, Van Der Mark resumed the race in 40th position, riding the Yamaha R1 hard to make up time in the shortened race. A series of sub 20-second laps by Morbidelli, including a stunning 2:17.817 in the wet, was only enough to bring the team within sight of the race lead by the chequered flag but to no avail.
All photographs courtesy of Sepang International Circuit. Some photographs may have been resized.
Source: Read Full Article