There is revenge in the air at the Losail circuit, venue for the 8 Hours of Doha, second round of the 2012 FIM World Endurance Championship, this coming Saturday. The team with the most to gain seems to be BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent.
World Vice Champions in 2011, BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent has two setbacks to overcome. A crash forced the BMW factory team to drop out of the first round, the French Bol d’Or, in April while four of the 2012 regular teams took their places in the top five. The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, Monster Energy Yamaha YART, Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube and Yamalube Folch Endurance all scored high points at the season’s curtain-raiser at Magny Cours. BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent is therefore aiming to score the maximum 35 points for a win in Doha to make up the ground lost to its rivals in the race for the 2012 endurance title.
BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent also has something to prove at the 8 Hours of Doha. Last season, an incident at the start of the race lost them a victory that seemed almost within grasp and with it the 2011 world title, clinched by Suzuki Endurance Racing Team in Doha at the eleventh hour.
Two of the other teams in contention in this FIM Endurance World Championship, the Maco Racing Team (Yamaha) and the Bolliger Team Switzerland (Kawasaki) will be hoping to score their first points in Doha after drawing a blank at the Bol d’Or. Bolliger Team Switzerland will again be managed by Kevin Bolliger, son of team founder and regular manager Hanspeter Bolliger, currently convalescing after an operation on the optic nerve just before the Bol d’Or.
Competition for the FIM World Cup will be no less intense. Penz13 Kraftwerk Herpigny Racing (BMW) will be travelling to Doha as favourites after their Superstock podium at the Bol d’Or ahead of Starteam 67 (Suzuki). However, they can expect some resistance from 2011 FIM World Cup winners Team Motors Events AMT Assurances (Suzuki) and AM Moto Racing Compétition (Suzuki), still in search of a high score in the Superstock category. Qatar Endurance Racing Team will finally be entering two Suzukis with mixed crews, one with German rider Nina Prinz, who rode in Doha in 2011, and the other with Spanish rider Elena Rosell, QMMF rider in Moto2.
The 8 Hours of Doha will start on Saturday 9 June at 17h00 local time, one and a half hours before sunset over Qatar (GMT +3). The first free practice sessions are scheduled for the evening of Thursday 7 June.
You can follow the race with “LIVE TIMING” on FIM-LIVE.COM from 16h00 (CET) on Saturday!