With the 2016 season decided at the round in Oschersleben three weeks ago, Yamaha is ready to hit the ground running at the first round of the 2016/2017 FIM Endurance World Championship season this weekend, the 80th edition of the iconic Bol d’Or 24 Hour race on Sept 17th -18th. The round in the South of France marks the start of the six-races long season that will see GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team and YART Yamaha Official EWC Team in action again over the period from September 2016 to July 2017.

After a stunning victory at the 8 Hour of Oschersleben three weeks ago, GMT94 have their eyes fixed on the 2016/2017 EWC trophy and the 24H chequered flag. David Checa, Niccolò Canepa, and freshly crowned Riders FIM EWC Champion, Lucas Mahias, hope to duplicate their amazing achievement at the Bol d’Or race, which has 60 points up for grabs, making it vital for the championship outcome. The French team is looking forward to greet the fans at their home race and hope to again let their experience shine through.

YART is also eager to continue their blistering pace from Oschersleben during 24 hours of non-stop racing and are determined to return to the podium. The Austrian team has previously ridden at the Circuit Paul Ricard, and were always positioned as key protagonists, although they have yet to stand on the top step of the podium at Bol d’Or. Regular YART riders Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morais will welcome four-time AMA Superbike title winner and Yamaha-rider Josh Hayes to the fold, who flew straight in from the last MotoAmerica round in New Jersey last weekend and knows the YZF-R1 like no other.

Bol d’Or was first organised in 1922. At the time the race included motorcycles and automobiles, but later was held solely for motorcycles. The race used to be staged at Le Mans in the seventies, but later moved to the Circuit Paul Ricard for twentyplus years and Magny-Cours from 2000, only to be moved back to the Circuit Paul Ricard in 2015. The 5,861 km circuit was created by Paul Ricard in 1970 and has hosted 23 Bol d’Or races. The upcoming edition will again be buzzing with fans as endurance is a popular category of racing in France, giving the weekend an incredible atmosphere.

Christophe GuyotChristophe Guyot

GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team, Team Manager

“We feel ready. The bike is really good and on top of that our riders are in great shape. We’ve made many changes to prepare for the new season and it has resulted in a good pace. The bike is ready, so we are looking forward to starting the new season. In endurance it’s very difficult to achieve a win. Of course we will try our best to win the race, which is our target. At Bol d’Or you can get a big number of points so that’s our aim.”

David ChecaDavid Checa

“The Paul Ricard track is rather unique, it has a really long straight and tight corners but our Yamaha always performs well here. The feeling with the bike is usually really good here, so we are looking forward to this round. Our bike, in my opinion, is the best of all; it has no weak points. After taking the win in Oschersleben, for sure we want to keep the momentum going win this Bol d’Or, like last year. Of course winning a 24 hour race is always difficult, so we will be pushing from start to finish and we will see what happens.”

Niccolò CanepaNiccolò Canepa

GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team, Rider

“I can’t wait to start the new Endurance season! I’m already fit and trained because of the previous season that ended only three weeks ago. I had also the opportunity to do two days of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit. I’m very confident because it was my first time on this track and I set the best overall lap time. I want to start in the best way this new season, so I’ll give my best during the race and I hope I will see my first 24h chequered flag! This track is amazing and well rounded. It has a very long straight and an amazing handling part. I think that the YZF-R1 will be perfect for the high speed corners and for the first part of the circuit!”

Lucas MahiasLucas Mahias

GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team, Rider

“I will again be joining the GMT94 team this weekend at Bol d’Or and this makes me very excited. I’m very happy to again be working together with the team and my teammates. Paul Ricard is an impressive circuit that puts quite a bit of stress on the engine because of its long straights. Our bike has been perfect throughout the last races and tests, so I look forward to get started.”

Mandy KainzMandy Kainz

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team Manager

“We arrive at Bol d’Or hungry to achieve the podium result that we deserved in Oschersleben, considering our pace. In 2015 and 2016 our speed has been unmatched, but we missed out in points. For the upcoming race we will focus on completing the full race and scoring vital points for the new championship so we will again be frontrunners in the title challenge. Our goal this weekend is simple; we want to win Bol d’Or for the first time. It is the only race in Europe that we haven’t won yet, though we secured two second and two third places over previous years, so clearly the Yamaha is competitive here. We will do everything we can to take the victory this weekend.”

Broc ParkesBroc Parkes

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team, Rider

“I’m looking forward to Bol d’Or. We hope to show the same pace the team had at Oschersleben. If we can do that I think for the race we are in a really good position. You never know what will happen at a 24-hour race and this circuit is tough on the bike, because the straight is so long, but we will be keeping our eyes on the podium. Last time out in Germany we couldn’t finish the race, so a win would be the perfect way to start the new season from a clean slate.”

Sheridan MoraisSheridan Morais

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team, Rider

“I am extremely proud to be representing Team YART for the beginning of our new season as well as excited to be teaming up with two of my good friends from the different paddocks. Broc and Josh both have that pure race blood in them, so our lineup of three will be strong onboard our Yamaha YZF-R1.”

Josh HayesJosh Hayes

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team, Rider

“I’m very excited to again join the YART team to participate in the Bol d’Or. It will also be fun to line up again with teammates Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morias. The Paul Ricard Circuit will be new to me, but I just want to do a good job for the team to kick off their new season, after finishing my season here in MotoAmerica.”