After the highs and lows of the eventful Suzuka 8 hours that took place on 29 July, the FIM Endurance World Championship is wide open again. The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is still at the top of the provisional leader board, but after their disappointment in Japan, the reigning world champions now have two teams hot on their wheels: Honda TT Legends, who have been very regular this season, and behind them the Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube and the BMW Motorrad Team Thevent, both contenders for the 2012 world crown.
Making its return to the FIM Endurance World Championship calendar this year, the Oschersleben 8 Hours, the fourth and penultimate race of the season, will therefore be a crucial clash in the battle for the title. The winner of this race, to be held in Germany on 11 August, will chalk up thirty-five points. So it will be a close-run affair at Oschersleben ahead of the final round of this season’s FIM Endurance World Championship in Le Mans on 8 and 9 September.
With Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe Anthony Delhalle, Yukio Kagayama) well in their sights, BMW Motorrad Team Thevent (Sébastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon, Damian Cudlin) will be more motivated than ever on the German track. The Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube, galvanised by their third place in Japan, should have Matthieu Lagrive back in the saddle after surgery on his elbow along with team-mates David Checa and Kenny Foray. Honda TT Legends (Cameron Donald, John McGuinness, Jason O’Halloran) will be going all out for the big points as will Bolliger Team Switzerland (Horst Saiger, Roman Stamm, Jérôme Tangre), who have been very regular since the 8 Hours of Doha. The Spanish Yamaha of Yamalube Folch Endurance (Dany Ribalta, Arturo Tizon, Roberto Martinez), absent from Suzuka but no strangers to the leading pack, will also be one to watch, as will the Slovakian Yamaha of Maco Racing (Gregory Junod, Gregg Black). Finally, Monster Energy Yamaha YART (Igor Jerman, Steve Martin, Katsayuki Nakasuga), the name of the game will be saving the season after two blank score sheets at Doha and Suzuka.
In Superstock, the competition will be no less intense. The provisional leader board of the FIM Endurance World Cup is topped by Penz13 Kraftwerk Herpigny Racing (BMW), with a lead of just thirteen points over DG Sport Herock (Yamaha). Atomic MotoSport (Suzuki) and Team Motors Events AMT Assurances (Suzuki), winners of the 2011 FIM World Cup, are practically neck and neck. 3D Endurance Moto Center (Kawasaki), winners of the Superstock class in the Bol d’Or, will also be on the grid in Oschersleben as will the Qatar Endurance Racing Team (Suzuki) who are fielding their winning Superstock team from Doha, Anthony West, Nasser Al Malki and German rider Nina Prinz. A number of local teams could also create a surprise. The Oschersleben 8 Hours will kick off at 14 h on Saturday 11 August for an evening finish at 22 h.
Follow the race from 14 h (GMT +2) on Saturday 11 August on www.fim-live.com with the « LIVE TIMING » set up by Tag Heuer and get regular live updates on Twitter