This weekend is held the 12 hours of Estoril, the second occasion of the 2021 calendar of the World Endurance Championship. Among the practically 100 riders entered, many have labored in pace (Grand Prix or World Superbike). Among them, there are additionally a number of World Champions like Mike Di Meglio (125cc, 2008), Nico Terol (125cc, 2011) or Sylvain Guintoli (WorldSBK, 2014), who is nonetheless evolving in MotoGP as a Suzuki take a look at rider.
If in athletics, a sprinter and a protracted-distance runner strategy their race otherwise, on a bike, there are many similarities. ” For me there are no real differences, admits Di Meglio, representative of the FCC TSR Honda France team. Whether it’s a 24-hour race or a sprint, we try to prepare as well as possible. However, in endurance racing, the week leading up to the race may be very long. It is important to hydrate and rest between each session, to get in shape for the race. “
Le Toulousain factors out one other small distinction: “ In endurance, we work in teams. There are three of us and we attempt to assist one another. In a dash, it is particular person and you’ve got to discover options by being alone. Even when you have a teammate, it is usually your first opponent. “
For his half, De Puniet, who rode as a starter from 1999 to 2014, underlines that the concept of persevering with his profession in endurance is a part of the French custom. ” After a career in speed, every French driver has tasted endurance at least once, says one of the Moto Ain team riders. Lots of pilots like the Sarron brothers (Chrisitan and Dominique, editor’s note) and others competed in the 24 hours of Le Mans or the Bol d’Or after having raced in GP. These are races that I have always wanted to compete in. When I was in GP, however, you shouldn’t talk to me about it. These are different machines than the ones I would run in GP with. A few years ago, the opportunity arose to compete in the Bol d’Or with Kawasaki, I was then test rider with KTM in MotoGP. I thought about it and thought to myself why not. I enjoyed it. “
Did you might have to adapt your piloting? ” The level is lower and the motorcycles are less demanding than in GP, says De Puniet. Coming from GP, we have quite a good physical condition. Even by doing several relays, it’s still easier on the physical level. There are other races, however, such as the Suzuka 8h, which are very demanding. I haven’t changed the way I approach a race. However, there are other parameters to take into account such as the night or latecomers. “
In addition to his position as developer for Suzuki in MotoGP, Sylvain Guintoli has joined forces with the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) to compete within the 2021 endurance season. ” It’s something that happened naturally, explains the Frenchman who lives in England with his family. In 2017, I started participating in the Suzuka Eight Hours with the Suzuki Yoshimura team. It is a very important event for the Japanese manufacturers. A victory at Suzuka is perhaps more important to them than a world title. My participation in this race was linked to my MotoGP test rider program. This year, there was a rapprochement between SERT, Suzuki’s historic official Endurance team, and Yoshimura, who only played in the Japanese round of this championship. Quite naturally, I was asked to join this new structure. I immediately accepted, because I had dreamed for a long time to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “
In addition to realizing his dream, the 2014 World Superbike Champion received the legendary endurance race, helped by his teammates Greg Black and Xavier Siméon, who has additionally raced in GP prior to now. Tomorrow, for the beginning of the 12h Estoril, the SERT will begin from third place simply forward of the FCC TSR Honda France staff. The Moto Ain staff will begin from tenth place.