Endurance World Championship

F.C.C. TSR Honda France prepares for the FIM EWC title defence

An increased six teams have been in action aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP for EWC pre-season testing at Le Mans

F.C.C. TSR Honda France prepares for the FIM EWC title defence

Honda’s endurance teams have been in action at the Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans this week (28-29 March) for official testing ahead of the 24 Heures Motos, which kicks off the 2023 FIM Endurance World.

In the 2023 FIM EWC season, there is a significant increase in Honda-powered squads and during the Pre-Mans Test, 6 teams were aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.

Title defenders of the 2022 FIM EWC, F.C.C. TSR Honda France, wrapped up the two-day test in fourth position overall with the new racing number #1 on their Fireblade, posting a best lap time of 1:35.542 out of the 47 teams in attendance.

It was a very positive test for the Honda team, which is very confident with the teamwork done during the winter break, collecting valuable data in the electronics, trying different types of tyres, and having a good race rhythm at Le Mans.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France topped the second-best time on day 1, with a cold morning session and being quicker during the closing stages of the afternoon session. On the second day, the race pace was consistent and better, but the team ended the Pre-Test in fourth position.

The other Honda Fireblade competing in the Formula EWC is Honda Viltaïs Racing, the team that claimed a thrilling victory in a dramatic Bol d’Or last September and ended third in the final 2022 FIM EWC.

The French team continues with the German rider Florian Alt and Steven Odendaal from South Africa, and the third rider to share the saddle of the Honda #333 is Leandro Mercado, the Argentine rider that will make his debut in the EWC.

Honda Viltaïs Racing is very motivated and ready to fight again for good results and help Honda to clinch for the manufacturers’ title as well. In the two-days of testing, the team ended in seventh position with a lap time of 1:35.908.

In the Superstock category, National Motos Honda is counting on the same trio of riders as the last season, the French rider Guillaume Raymond and the Swiss Suchet brothers, Sébastien and Valentin, aboard the Fireblade #55. Wrapping up the test 15th fastest overall, the French team, with a solid test, were third fastest on the timesheets in the Superstock category.   

The renamed Chromeburner-RAC41-Honda, has high expectations for this season with the same riders’ line-up that won last year’s Bol d’Or race, Chris Leesch, Wayne Tessels and Jonathan Hardt and with the help of the Honda technicians working on the electronics, the team is very confident with the performance of the Fireblade set-up ahead of the 24-hour race.

The newcomers' Honda teams in the Superstock category are Honda No Limits #44 that counts with Alexis Masbou, who was already in the team the last two seasons, and the new riders Johan Nigoon and Lorenzo Gabellini and Honda GT Endurance #30 with the French riders Paul Dufour, Adrien Guinet and Eddy Dupuy.

The Honda teams will now look forward to the opening round of the 2023 EWC season with the prestigious 24 Heures Motos which starts at 3pm (CEST) on Saturday 15 April and finishes at 3pm (CEST) on Sunday 16 April. 

Josh Hook
Josh Hook 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
Our target for these preparatory tests for the 24 Heures Motos was to check our 2023-specification bike. The year is starting well, everything is good. We brought what we tested in Japan and we are very satisfied. And our riders are performing well. Now, we’ll have to fine-tune our teamwork and pit work, but overall these testings were very good.

Mike Di Meglio
Mike Di Meglio 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
Two good days of testing during which we worked well on our race pace. After some setup tests, we finally went back to a base that works very well. We adjusted the electronics a bit and tried different types of tires. Now we’ll have to wait and see the weather conditions during the race week. But I think we have a good and consistent crew. The pace seems to be very high for everyone, which promises suspense for the race.

Alan Techer
Alan Techer 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
These two days of Pre-Mans testing have been very positive for us. We worked mainly on our pace and some set-up, but we stayed on a healthy base that we know. For me, I really focused on my race pace, because it's good to qualify well, but the most important thing is to be in the best place on Sunday at the finish. I am progressing session by session, working with my teammates and the technical team. As Mike said, everyone is going fast, so it can be a good race.

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