Syahrin, Morbidelli, Van Der Mark, Yamaha Sepang Racing Team on Pole Position for 8 Hours of Sepang

Van Der Mark, Morbidelli and Hafizh Syahrin of Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. Photo credit FIM EWC
  • The Yamaha Sepang Racing Team will start from pole position at the 8 Hours of Sepang inaugural FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) race.

  • Riders are Hafizh Syahrin, Franco Morbidelli and Michael Van Der Mark.

  • The race starts at 1pm tomorrow.

The Yamaha Sepang Racing Team will start from pole position at the 8 Hours of Sepang inaugural FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) race. The team consists of riders Hafizh Syahrin, Franco Morbidelli and Michael Van Der Mark. Syahrin and Morbidelli are MotoGP riders, while van der Mark rides for the factory Yamaha WorldSBK outfit. The team’s #21 Yamaha YZF-R1 is prepared by YART and shod with Bridgestone tyres. They are competing in the premier Formula EWC class.

Morbidelli on the #21 Yamaha YZF-R1. Photo credit FIM EWC

Such a great means the team is poised to gain victory in their “home” race. A win would make up for Morbidelli’s disappointment of finishing in 5th after qualifying second fastest in the Malaysian MotoGP. Besides that, it’ll be a great confidence boost for Hafizh Syahrin as well after being dropped by the Red Bull KTM Racing Tech 3 MotoGP team for 2020.

Hafizh Syahrin and Morbidelli in the pits. Photo credit FIM EWC

The second qualifying session started at 7pm yesterday. The FIM EWC uses combined qualifying times to determine the grid positions. The 10 fastest goes through to the Top 10 Trial shootout, which is like the Superpole format. The teams then put forth their fastest rider for a single flying lap to determine grid positions 1st through 10th.

Thailand’s Somkiat Chantra of Honda Asia Dream Racing set the gauntlet by posting an eye-popping time of 2m 05.440s. That took the team from 9th to 1st. One of Somkiat’s teammate is Malaysia rider Zaqhwan Zaidi who took part in the Suzuka 8 Hours in July.

But Morbidelli, the current MotoGP rider for the Yamaha Sepang Racing Team struck back with a 2m 04.647s lap. The Italian’s effort was a valiant fight given an early crash.

Qualifying third was the F.C.C. TSR Honda France team, who were previous champions in the series.

The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team did well again to qualify in 4th. Remember, this is only their first season in the FIM EWC since 2015.

By contrast, the championship leading Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) ended qualifying in 11th.

Read: Up close with the BMW S 1000 RR FIM EWC race bike

The Superstock class saw titanic battles for the starting grid up and down the field. In end, it was the Japanese team Tone RT Syncedge 4413 BMW who prevailed, just beating out French based Moto Ain. The former was team were the fastest at the Suzuka 8 Hour, while the latter was last season’s FIM Endurance World Cup winner.

The race starts at 1pm on Saturday. Be there!

Read: 10 Points about the FIM Endurance World Championship and 8 Hours of Sepang

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