GMT94 crossed the finish line of an extraordinary race just ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team – who won the FIM EWC 2016 championship by just one point. Penz13.com BMW Motorrad finished third at the Oschersleben 8 Hours.
Suspense ran high until the very last minute of the race, with the outcome of the duel between GMT94 Yamaha and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team uncertain to the end. There was a mere 21-second gap between the two French teams at the finish. GMT94 Yamaha (David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Lucas Mahias) are celebrating their win at the Oschersleben 8 Hours (their second this season, after Portimão) while Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson) are rejoicing in their new status as FIM EWC world champions – the team’s 15th world title – at the end of a tough season with no wins. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team squeezed past GMT94 Yamaha to top spot in the world standings, with only a one-point lead.
On the third step of the podium after finishing three laps behind the leader, Penz13.com BMW Motorrad is relishing its finest race. Rico Penzkofer’s team scored their first points this season with only two riders, Kenny Foray and Lukas Pesek, in the absence of Mathieu Gines who was injured in the IDM.
Fourth past the finish line, five laps behind GMT94 Yamaha, Honda Endurance Racing ran a fine race, staying in the top 5 throughout – though a brake problem gave Julien da Costa, Sébastien Gimbert and Freddy Foray a scare. Another contender often overshadowed by the factory-backed teams, Maco Racing Team, picked up 5th place at Oschersleben after a fantastic late-stage sprint by Greg Junod, Anthony dos Santos and Marko Jerman.
The top Superstock, Team 3Art Yam’Avenue, was right behind Maco Racing Team. Louis Bulle, Alex Plancassagne and Lukas Trautmann ran a perfect race, and walked off with both the Superstock win at Oschersleben and the 2016 Superstock World Cup.
Behind Lukoil BMW Motorrad CSEU, which placed 7th (the Czech team wrapped up its first FIM EWC season in Germany), a set of Superstocks finished in a tight group: Starteam PAM-Racing, AM Moto Racing Compétition and Tati Team Beaujolais Racing, in that order – also the top three of the Dunlop Independent Trophy at Oschersleben.
Team April Moto Motors Events finished 11th, having fallen back from the leading pack due to a crash and an overheating engine. Starting the race at the top of the provisional FIM EWC standings, Team April Moto Motors Events ended up third in the final world standings.
An edge-of-seat finale
The Oschersleben 8 Hours was forecast to be a suspenseful race, and it didn’t disappoint. There was much drama and many upsets for practically the entire 8 hours.
The favourites to win the world title had a tough time of it from the start. Team SRC Kawasaki was the first to fall by the wayside, forced to withdraw with a broken engine after only five laps, though Gregory Leblanc had got off to a good start. Then it was F.C.C. TSR Honda’s turn to retire following a mechanical problem 72 laps into the race.
The favourite in the Superstock class, Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors, suffered a crash.
An hour and a half from the finish, one final spectacular upset totally shook up the pecking order. YART Yamaha Official EWC Team had been leading the race from the start with Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Sheridan Morais. But the Austrian Yamaha fell victim to an overheated engine and had to throw in the towel after 192 laps in the lead.