A rising star of the FIM Endurance World Cup, 29-year-old Briton Tom Ward is racing with Honda power for TRT27 AZ Moto in the Dunlop-supplied category in 2024. This is what’s he’s had to say ahead of the 8 Hours of Spa Motos in Belgium next month.

TRT27 AZ Moto’s Honda alliance began with seventh place among the Superstock teams in the 24 Heures Motos last month. Was it a case of satisfaction or frustration?

*It was a bit bitter-sweet because it was the first proper time when, from a purely selfish point of view, I’d ridden and didn’t really put a foot wrong but there were a couple of mistakes and technical problems with the bike. Obviously it was a new bike for the team and it wasn’t an easy weekend but I felt I rode a really good race and we definitely deserved to be stood on the podium. At the same time, it’s unbelievable to think we finished seventh because if you’d asked me at five in the morning, I thought the race was completely over. But it just goes to show that you should never give up. It was good to get seventh but it didn’t show our potential, which was definitely top three.>


You worked very hard with your team-mate Tom Oliver to put the programme together with the TRT team. How much potential is there?

It’s massive and the pace we showed proves to everyone we have a team and a bike capable of being on the podium. It took a massive effort to get to Le Mans but, as always in endurance racing, a lot of the stuff is out of your control. I did a British Superbike race recently where a lot of what you do is in your control. It’s a flag-to-flag race with just you sat on the bike. In EWC you’ve got two, potentially three, team-mates and there can be all sorts of possible problems with the bike or the team could make a mistake. For me I said to myself every time I go out on the bike I want to show what I am capable of doing on that bike against all the other riders. Hopefully I did that by riding as hard as I could in a way that was sensible. You’ve just got to keep keep doing what is in your control but the rest of it is out of your control and that’s hard to deal with sometimes.


Isle of Man TT legend Michael Dunlop was part of the TRT27 AZ Moto line-up at Le Mans. What was it like sharing a bike with him?

He’s really, really cool, a really down-to-earth guy, really humble with a very dry sense of humour. If you’re going to bond with anyone it’s definitely to do a 24-hour race. He gets it when you’re at your lowest point and your highest point and we got on really well and we’ve got a really good relationship now, which is really cool. He kept the morale high and is one of the favourite people I’ve ridden with. Michael gets the sport and knows BSB and motorbike racing and sees good racing. It’s really nice he appreciates how much effort we put in. Me and Tom Oliver have worked hard for it and he sees that and I think that’s one of the reasons why he wanted to do Le Mans with us. He’d been offered a couple of other rides but he wanted to do it with us because he’s got that mentality of never give up and keep going. And he rode really, really well, I was very impressed.


The 8 Hours of Spa Motos is next. How exciting is the prospect of racing on the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps again?

It’s a track you must respect but I’ve got quite high expectations for myself because I did the fastest ever stock Suzuki lap round there last year and I did really well in qualifying. Being on the Honda I definitely feel we can challenge for pole. With our rider line-up we’ll be really strong there.


The Spa format has changed for 2024 with a switch to an eight-hour race from 24 hours. Are you a fan and how does that change your approach?

At the moment it’s meant to be me, Tom Oliver and Alex Olsen riding for TRT27 AZ Moto but Alex has just broken his wrist during a test. He will be there but if he doesn’t get on too well and is suffering with his wrist then me and Tom will do the race by ourselves. I think we can manage the race well and have a good strategy. I know it will be physically harder but I feel like it could be better. I can’t wait for Spa but I’m hoping we’ll be able to do Suzuka as well. The next couple of weeks we hope to be able to confirm if we can or can’t do it. We’re trying to get some things lined up with different riders, but it all depends on the financial backing as to who and if we will be riding there.

The 8 Hours of Spa Motos takes place at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium from 6-8 June. Click HERE for more event information including details of how to buy tickets.

Original Source [ FIM EWC ]