News 18 Sep 2023

YART Yamaha clinch 2023 EWC title in dramatic Bol d'Or

Heartbreak for defending champions TSR Honda in France.

Image: Supplied.

YART Yamaha has clinched the 2023 Endurance World Championship (EWC) after a dramatic final round at Bol d’Or saw former champions F.C.C. TSR Honda France ruled out, and Yoshimura SERT emerge on top at the iconic 24-hour event.

Austria-based YART was one of six teams in EWC title contention at the beginning of the race, but it endured a nervy conclusion due to a temperature issue that forced them to pit multiple times for running repairs.

Disaster struck for the defending champions F.C.C. TSR Honda France, including Australia’s Josh Hook, when a technical issue forced them to retire at 03h26min from the race. Additionally, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team dropped out of the lead fight due to two unscheduled pit visits, with YART essentially needing a top-nine Formula EWC finish to secure the title.

Running with a special livery to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Yamaha R1, the YART trio of Niccolò Canepa, Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika rode faultlessly, eventually finishing in fourth position to secure EWC gold, having held the race lead on numerous occasions. The achievement marks the outfit’s first EWC title since 2009.

Honda Viltaïs Racing couldn’t quite repeat its Bol d’Or-winning success from last year but it did secure a season-best second as riders Florian Alt, Steven Odenaal and event rookie Leandro Mercado impressed on the number 333 machine. BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, featuring Jérémy Guarnoni, Illya Mykhalchyk and Markus Reiterberger, completed the podium, its third top-three finish of the year.

Detailed results