Niccolò Canepa and Marvin Fritz have spoken of their devastation after the YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC was forced out of the lead on the final morning of the 24H SPA EWC Motos last weekend.
Despite the delay of more than four minutes when the team was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop for a replacement speed sensor after three hours, stellar performances from Canepa, Fritz and polesitter Karel Hanika put the Austrian squad back into contention.
Following a battle for the lead between Fritz and BMW rider Mykhalchyk, it was the Japanese marque in front after 18 hours. But the advantage would not last when the #7 Yamaha YZF-R1, with Canepa onboard, suffered engine failure.
Still have no words left about the finish of the race, German rider Fritz wrote on Facebook. We gave everything we had to win this race. I had a great start of the race, we solved the starting problems, and we came back to the lead after being in the box for four minutes due a sensor problem. After 18 hours we’ve been back in the lead, unfortunately just after we had to stop the race due a broken engine. Not the way we wanted to finish that race, but luckily we took important points after 8 and 16 hours for the championship. I’m really proud of all the team. We’ve been the fastest by far through all the night, and I set the best lap time of the race middle in the night, 2m21.447s. We’re third in the championship after two races and we’re already looking forward to Suzuka.
Canepa, from Italy, wrote: I gave everything mentally and physically to win this race. In the beginning of the race we lost more than four minutes for a technical issue but we didn’t give up and we started lapping faster than everybody, doing the same lap times in the day and in the night despite the poor visibility. Sometimes during the night we were two to three seconds a lap faster than everyone. Second by second and lap by lap we came back on first place and we built a gap of 30 seconds. Unfortunately in the best moment we have been forced to abandon the race. We have been proud of what we did and we don’t give up.
Original Source [ FIM EWC ]