2017 24 Heures Motos – Only 100 days to go!

On Saturday 15th April 2017, in exactly 100 days, the start of the 24 Heures Motos will be given at 15:00. The event, celebrating its 40th anniversary, is the second round of the 2016-2017 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC), and it’s already building up to be a great spectacle both on the track and off! Here’s what awaits the spectators.

Unlike previous years the 24 Heures Motos will be the second round of the FIM EWC; the first, the 80th Bol d’Or, took place last September. Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda and BMW have all entered factory teams with major ambitions as for these five manufacturers only victory will do, which guarantees first-class racing. 

In 2016 Kawasaki scored its 13th victory in the Sarthe overtaking Suzuki as the manufacturer having won the most 24 Heures Motos titles. The Japanese make and the SRC Kawasaki Team managed by Gilles Stafler will put their title at stake with a crew that’s been slightly reshuffled: for the moment only Mathieu Gines and Fabien Forestier have been confirmed as riders. 

Its major rival, Suzuki, which has now racked up 15 world titles after its success in 2016, has come up with a brand-new motorbike, the eagerly-awaited GSX-R 1000. It has been entrusted to the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team managed by Dominique Méliand and it will be ridden by an experienced crew consisting of Vincent Philippe (three victories in the 24 Heures Motos), Anthony Delhalle (two victories) and Etienne Masson (one victory). 

Like Suzuki, Honda has entered a new bike. The Japanese manufacturer has placed its hopes in the new CBR 1000 to try and clinch a victory that has escaped it since 2006. Yamaha will be officially represented by GMT 94 and YART. The former has recruited ex-grand prix rider and winner of the 125 cc world title in 2008, Mike Di Meglio. The presence of former grand prix riders confirms the increasingly close links being forged between the world of grand prix racing and endurance.  Mike will team up with Spanish rider David Checa and Niccolò Canepa from Italy.

Bavarian manufacturer, BMW, has entrusted its works programme in endurance to French outfit the Tecmas Racing Team. German rider Lukas Trautmann, the revelation of the Superstock category in 2016, will line up with Frenchmen Kenny Foray and Camille Hedelin. 

At least two Japanese teams, F.C.C TSR Honda and Trick Star Racing, should be present this year, which is proof of the growing impact of the 24 Heures Motos on the international scene. 

The official teams will have their work cut out against numerous outsiders who have beefed up their attack during the winter like the April Moto Motors Events team. This outfit is managed by Hervé Moineau, a former triple world endurance champion, who has recruited two riders victorious in last year’s race, Grégory Leblanc and Matthieu Lagrive, who will share the new Honda with Grégory Fastre from Belgium. 

The traditional battle will again rage in Superstock. No fewer than seven teams have already entered and are all capable of coming out on top in this category whose level continues to improve. 

Beyond the purely sporting aspect the 24 Heures Motos event is also a fantastic motorbike festival. Lots of entertainment and activities will be laid on like the mechanical show on Friday and the traditional fun fair which will set the tempo for the weekend. The concert evening on Saturday will be the theatre of the exclusive comeback of the rock group from Brest, Matmatah, which is returning to the stage after a nine-year absence. Other surprises that are still in the prep stage include events that will help make the 2017 24 Heures Motos a not-to-be-missed festive and sporting weekend! 

Rendezvous in one hundred days!