It was a busy night at Spa-Francorchamps. Hours after the gearbox problem that affected the Suzuki No. 1 (Yoshimura SERT Motul), other teams experienced calamity as the riders entered the second half of the race. First, Nicolas Escudier crashed on the Yamaha No. 36 (3ART BEST OF BIKE), bringing on the safety car to give enough time to get the machine out of the gravel trap. But this incident was not to be the last of the night.
A few minutes later, after 14:47 of racing, the Honda No. 5 (F.C.C. TSR Honda France), in the lead, ground to a halt at the edge of the track suffering to a chain failure. This was enough to propel the BMW No. 37 (BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM) into first place, in search of its second endurance victory since the 6 Hours of Most 2021. After many hours of chasing, the Yamaha No. 7 (YART – Yamaha Official EWC Team) was now in second place.
Masakazu Fujii’s pit team performed a blinding turnaround to get Honda No. 5 back on track, but the time lost in the return to the pits meant a total loss of half an hour, and a drop to tenth place. The next step for the F.C.C. TSR Honda France is to work its way back up the order, just as the Yoshimura SERT Motul has done since its mechanical problems.
The Suzuki No. 1 was fourteenth, but has been clawing back places ever since. By the sixteenth hour of the race the World Champion machine was up to fifth place, gaining time on the Yamaha No. 77 (Wójcik Racing Team 77) and the Kawasaki No. 4 (TATI TEAM BERINGER RACING). Only two thirds of the race has been completed, and the latest weather forecast is for thunderstorms at 10am local time, so 3 hours from the finish.
Still leading in the Superstock class, the Kawasaki No. 33 continues to combine speed and consistency, maintaining its sixth place in the overall classification. Close behind the Yamaha No. 18 (TEAM 18 SAPEURS POMPIERS CMS MOTOSTORE) has not given up, and is less than a lap behind its rival. Close behind, the Yamaha No. 94 (TEAM LH RACING), is feeling the pressure from the intense pursuit of the pack. With eight hours to go, the suspense remains on the Belgian circuit.
Formula EWC standings after 16 hours :
- 1. BMW n°37 (BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM)
- 2. Yamaha n°7 (YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC)
- 3. Kawasaki n°4 (TATI TEAM BERINGER RACING)
- 4. Yamaha n°77 (Wójcik Racing Team 77)
- 5. Suzuki n°1 (Yoshimura SERT Motul)
Superstock standings after 16 hours :
- 1. Kawasaki n°33 (TEAM 33 LOUIT APRIL MOTO)
- 2. Yamaha n°18 (TEAM 18 SAPEURS POMPIERS CMS MOTOSTORE)
- 3. Yamaha n°94 (TEAM LH RACING)
- 4. Yamaha n°66 (OG MOTORSPORT BY SARAZIN)
- 5. Kawasaki n°23 (TEAM NORMANDIE MOTORSPORT)