EKO IVRacing BMW CSEU experiences another tough FIM Endurance World Championship weekend at Slovakiaring.
Orechova Poton, Slovakia. The EKO IVRacing BMW Central and Southern European Union racing team had another tough weekend in the FIM Endurance World Championship, being forced to retire at the 8 hours of Slovakia. Riders Karel Hanika, Julian Mayer and Martin Choy once again did a brilliant job riding the BMW S 1000 RR, as did the team in preparing and during the pit stops in the race itself but ran out of luck in the mid-stages of the last European encounter of the FIM EWC.
Strong Qualifying ends in 11th on Slovakia grid
The three EKO IVRacing BMW CSEU riders put in a strong qualifying by placing their Pirelli equipped S 1000 RR in 11th spot on the grid for the penultimate round of the 2016/2017 FIM Endurance World Championship. The average best lap of Mayer, Hanika and Choy resulted in a 2:06.167 mins. time – just 1.689 seconds shy of the pole time set by YART Yamaha.
In the blistering heat at the Slovakiaring, only 8 riders were able to post times under the 2:05 barrier and Hanika was amongst them. His qualification time was a 2:04.818, making him seventh fastest. Mayer put in a strong 2:06.108 whilst Choy delivered a 2:07.576.
Early problems lead to a DNF
Hanika took the start and brought the team’s S 1000 RR close to the front. After 15 laps the rider from Czech Republic was holding on to 8th place fighting in the second group of the race, that battled closely for third position.
How every bad luck stroke hard after that, as the bike cut out and Hanika had to make his way back to the pits.
The team did everything they could to re-enter the race but it took too long to find the small electronical gremlins in it so was forced to retire.
In the end it turned out to be the in Endurance infamous “cent-article” which caused the failure in the electronic system, one that had never occurred before.
The EKO IVRacing BMW CSEU squad now is back at the workshop in Brno to regroup and prepare a whole new adventure in the young team’s history and to enter the legendary 40th edition of the 8 hours of Suzuka race from 27th to 30th July 2017. Due to the new 2016/2017 season format in the FIM Endurance World Championship, the Japanese round will also be the the grand finals of the season.
Karel Hanika, rider:
Unfortunately our race more or less ended very early, already on my first stint we got the problem, that forced us to retire. It is a bit hard to accept we’ve had so many bad luck this year and season and I feel very sad for my team. Looking at my personal side, I have to admit, I am happy once more to be able to ride the 1000cc bike as fast as I did again this weekend. It was only a short transition time for me from the Moto3™ to the big bikes and at Slovakiaring I proved to be amongst the very fastest in this class. We have to turn our heads to the next race, which will be a brand-new adventure, not only for the team, but for me as well. There I will also meet some guys I know from the GP paddock and I am really, really excited.
Julian Mayer, rider:
Well, it would be a lie if I’d say I would not be disappointed but this is not to blame anyone, neither the team nor anyone else. It seems like everyone has had his part of the bad luck now, I had the crash at Oschersleben, Martin had one, we all take that kind of easy, as we all are learning – the whole team and we as riders. But somehow you’d wish all of that had happened in one race and all the others would go to plan – but you don’t have a choice on that and have to take what you get. Looking at the positives, we’ve got to say once more we’ve been fast all weekend and the team did another brilliant job in preparing the bike and in the pits and everything. The next time we have to go out there determined to finally earn the results we deserve.
Martin Choy, rider:
I can only repeat what my team mates said. We’ve had a string of bad luck lasting more or less the whole season, which is of course disappointing for us all, but we will never ever give up. We got some unreached targets in World Endurance racing we all know we are capable of reaching them and we will try our hardest to achieve them – now sooner than later.
Amir Ghanem, Team Manager:
First of all, we are proud on what pace and times and fights our riders did again this weekend. We all know Endurance can be more than cruel and we’ve seen many other teams that had to wait season after season for strong results, so we just have to be patience and use those lows to get us stronger and stronger. In the end it was an article, that costs only cents that caused the problem in the whole cable harness, and of course it was something that had never happened before. It was all brand new on this bike and we now have to analyze how we can make things better, especially now that we are focusing on Suzuka to bring home the results we deserve in Japan.
Viktor Noss, Team Owner:
There is one question you actually never have to ask yourself in Endurance and this is: Why are we doing all this – but sometimes this is very hard. Slovakia was another set-back but this time on the technical side. We are angry on that it happened again, because we all know there is much more in our riders and our team and we are all more than willing to finally prove what we are capable of. We showed on many occasions this season we could mix it up at the very sharp end, simply luck wasn’t on our side, again this weekend. The next race, the 8 hours Suzuka, will be the toughest of the season and we’ve never raced there before as a team. The competition will be more than high over there and we’ll be newcomers, so maybe it’s good to go there with no expectations apart from riding a race without problems.