Bridgestone announced that it was very pleased with tyre performance in the first race of the new FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) motorcycle season, the Bol d’Or 24-hour on 16-17 September, despite track crashes which took both Bridgestone-backed teams out of contention.
In official qualifying on the Paul Ricard circuit, France on 14 September, the two Bridgestone teams – Austrian-based YART Yamaha Official EWC Team and F.C.C. TSR Honda France team – put their bikes at the top of the field and secured 2nd and 3rd place on the starting grid.
This form was carried into the race itself where both teams recorded consistently fast lap times and challenged for the lead during the first few hours.
Six hours into the race, a crash pegged YART back, followed by electrical issues which forced the team to retire.
Meanwhile F.C.C. TSR Honda France played cat and mouse for the lead with the other Yamaha factory team GMT94 throughout the night, lying narrowly second after 16 hours. After grabbing the lead early on Sunday morning, a crash also dashed this Bridgestone team’s hopes of victory.
Nico Thuy, Head of Europe – Motorcycle at Bridgestone Europe gave his race summary: “The Bridgestone teams showed what they can do with fast qualifying and race lap times before accidents ruined their chances. From a tyre point of view, we are very satisfied: the Bridgestone tyres produced pace and consistent performance, just what you need for endurance racing.”
Bridgestone, the world’s number one tyre and rubber manufacturer1, returned to top-tier motorcycle racing in 2017 with the supply of racing tyres to the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team and the F.C.C. TSR Honda team competing in the prestigious FIM Endurance World Championship series.
In addition to these two officially-supported teams, Bridgestone will continue to support private teams in the EWC series with off-the-shelf racing slicks and wets.
The FIM EWC is a worldwide championship competition consisting of five races: two in France and the remaining three in Germany, Slovakia, and Japan. The 24-hour Bol d’Or was the first race of the 2017/2018 series which will end with the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race at Japan’s Suzuka Circuit in July 2018.
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¹ Based on 2016 tyre sales. Source: Tire Business 2017 – Global Tire Company Rankings.
About Bridgestone EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Bridgestone EMEA, with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tyre and rubber company. Bridgestone EMEA operates in more than 60 countries and has over 18200 employees. Across the region it has 14 tyre and tyre related plants, a major R&D Centre and a proving ground. Bridgestone EMEA’s premium tyres are sold in Europe, Middle East, Africa and globally.