FIM press release:
The Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship will be hosted by Germany at the end of the month. The second round of the 2009 calendar, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben, will take place on Sunday 31 May, over the 3667m race track near Magdeburg.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, the Yamaha Austria Racing Team, arrives in Germany as the firm favourite. YART is already ahead of the RT Racing Team, the closest permanent team on the provisional championship, by 17 points. On the Austrian Yamaha, Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani will do their best to improve their leadership. 30 points are to be taken for the winner of the 8 Hours of Oschersleben.
After a fantastic race at Le Mans, the RT Racing Team will have to confirm. At Oschersleben, this Franco-Italian Suzuki ridden by Jean-Louis Devoyon, Frédéric Jond and former Bolliger Team rider David Morillon, will have to battle against several permanent teams from the world’s top ten. As Patric Muff is now racing in the IDM (the German Superbike Championship) the Bolliger Team Switzerland has now great expectations of Horst Saiger, Rico Penzkoffer and Eric Mizera to score big points.
This will also be the aim of the Italians from No Limits on Suzuki, with Christer Minin, Emiliano Belluci and Hervé Gantner and of the team Amadeus X-One on Yamaha with Will Gruy, Paolo Tessari and the young Italian rider Ayrton Badovini (he will be 23 years old on 31 May) competing since 2008 in World Superbike. The same applies to RMT 21 Racing Germany. The German Honda, ridden by Matti Seidel among others will want to shine in front of its home fans.
Other permanent teams, who were unlucky at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will also be highly motivated. The Honda Michelin Research Power Team of William Costes, Hugo Marchand and Josep Monge, seems to be the most dangerous rival of Yamaha Austria for victory. Although they gave a great performance during the qualifying tests at Le Mans, the Honda Michelin Research Power Team had to retire after several crashes and serious electrical problems.
We’ll have to count on the Slovak Yamaha of BK Maco Moto Racing Team, with Dani Ribalta but without Jason Pridmore, still recovering from his big crash at Le Mans, and on the British Yamaha of Phase One Endurance of Pedro Vallcaneras and brothers Alex and Damian Cudlin, and the two Suzukis of Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers with Stéphane Molinier, David Brière and Jérôme Tangre and the AM Moto Racing of Sullivan Hernandez, Pierre Guersillon and Fabrice Auger, who often does very well at Oschersleben.
In the Superstock class, the Qatar Endurance Racing Team is the best placed permanent team in the provisional standings in the FIM Superstock World Cup. They will be at Oschersleben with Mashel Al Naimi, Rashid Al Mannai and Anthony Delhalle, the same riders who finished in a fantastic sixth overall place at Le Mans. The QERT is also entering with a second Suzuki, given to three Qatari riders. They all have to battle against the Suzuki Endurance Moto 45 of Alexandre Lagrive, Nicolas Jaulneau and Adrien Ganfornina and the Yamaha LTG 57 Zone Rouge of Franck Miller, Branko Srdanov and Michaël Lalevée, who had to retire at Le Mans.
The free practices will start on Thursday 28 May in the afternoon and the first qualifying sessions will be on Friday from midday. The Superpole is scheduled for Saturday at 5 pm. Thirty-six teams are registered for this semi-nocturnal 8 Hours of Oschersleben. The start will be given on Sunday 31 May at 2 pm for a 10 pm arrival.