EWC 2023
Round 4

Honda Viltaïs Racing takes Bol d’Or podium to secure the Constructors' FIM Endurance World Championship for Honda

fr Paul Ricard Circuit

- Heartbreak for F.C.C. TSR Honda France as their title bid is cut short - Late drama for World Cup leaders National Motos Honda.

Honda Viltaïs Racing takes Bol d’Or podium to secure the Constructors' FIM Endurance World Championship for Honda

The Honda Viltaïs Racing team, winners of the 2022 edition, finishes second in the 2023 Bol d'Or race, and with this result, the team contributes to Honda taking the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship for Constructors.

Leandro Mercado started from the 8th place on the grid after good preparation during practice, and at the early stages of the race, the Argentinian rider was battling in front of the top positions during some hours.

From mid-race, with concentration and consistency, the Honda #333 was firmly installed in fifth place at the end of the 8th hour of the race, getting 6 more points to the championship.

The efforts of the Honda Viltaïs Racing team, both on the track and during the refuelling, were kept during the night, so the Fireblade #333 climbed to third place.

The team managed perfectly the pressure and entered the last quarter of the race, sitting in second position until the chequered flag. 

Being the first season that the team is with the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, Honda Viltaïs Racing ended in an excellent fifth place in the final standings of the FIM Endurance World Championship thanks to the regularity of its riders, Florian Alt, Leandro Mercado and Steven Odendaal, their teamwork and the performance of the Honda #333.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France started the 24-hour race from third place on the starting grid with Mike Di Meglio, but after only five laps, Di Meglio entered the pits to change wet tyers to slicks, rejoining the race in 10th place.

Thanks to his fast lap times, the French rider was soon back up at the front, setting a race lap record of 1.54.479, which he improved on the following lap to 1.54.336.

The Honda squad was doing a very solid race, being very competitive with good lap timings and very soon, the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP #1 was placed in the top positions during half of the race.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France took 8 points in the overall standings for its 3rd position at the end of the 8th hour of the race.

Unfortunately, whilst running third, having been leading early on, a technical issue forced the F.C.C. TSR Honda France to retire from the race in the early hours of Sunday.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France ends the 2023 FIM EWC season, finishing in fourth place, although it is a position that does not reflect its competitiveness over the season.

This standing is the result of a season spent at the front of the previous races, thanks to the consistency of the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP performance and the talent of its riders. 

F.C.C. TSR Honda France remains determined to come back and fight for its 3rd world title next season.

In the Superstock category, three Honda teams were battling to win the FIM Endurance World Cup: Chromeburner-RAC41-Honda, Honda No Limits and National Motos Honda.

Chromeburner-RAC41-Honda arrived at the last round, leading the standings by six points and with the second place the team got in the Bol d’Or race, the Honda privateer team #41 took home the 2023 FIM Endurance World Cup title.

Chromeburner-RAC41-Honda didn’t have a good qualifying session, starting from the 11th place in the grid, but in the second hour, the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP #41 was placed already second.

An issue with the lighting during the third hour made the team enter the pits and rejoin the race in 9th position. 

The trio of endurance specialists, Chris Leesh, Wayne Tessels and Jonathan Hardt, showed a high determination to fight for the title. The team began an incredible comeback, placing the Honda #41 in third place by mid-race.

In the last hour of the race, National Motos Honda, that was leading the race, was forced to abandon the race, giving the second place to Chromeburner-RAC41-Honda.

National Motos Honda started second in the grid for the Superstock category aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP and immediately took the lead in its class. 

With efficient teamwork during refuelling and the trio of riders throughout the 24-hour race, National Motos Honda kept the leading position until the last hour.

Unfortunately, a technical problem in the last half an hour of the race forced the team to take the victory and all chances to get the title, but National Motos Honda managed to finish third in the FIM Endurance World Cup.

Honda No Limits, with the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP #44, was the best Honda qualified in the starting grid, but unfortunately, a crash with another bike just at the early stages of the race forced Lorenzo Gaballini to enter the pits to repair the bike. 

Unfortunately, after all the team crew efforts to repair the bike to rejoin the race, the Honda #44 had to stop due to serious damage on the bike due to the crash.

* Final results amended by the FIM after the post-race technical inspection.


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