HONDA TT LEGENDS END EWC SEASON ON A HIGH

Honda TT Legends end the EWC season on a high

Honda TT Legends end the EWC season on a high

The Honda TT Legends today became one of only two teams to complete every race in the 2012 Endurance World Championship by placing fifth in the 24 Heures du Mans in France. In doing so, the team secured fourth place in the championship overall, just one point off third place. The only other team to finish every race this year is championship winner SERT. 

In characteristic style, John McGuinness, Cameron Donald and stand-in rider Mathieu Gines were consistent and steady aboard the ABS-equipped Honda Fireblade in a race that passed without incident. There were no mechanical issues and the team actually bettered the planned 26-stop strategy by pitting 25 times over 828 laps.

The tough 24-hour race was relatively uneventful for the majority of the top teams, with the exception of Bolliger Team Switzerland, who were forced to retire at the halfway stage. While SRC Kawasaki and SERT battled it out for the top two spots, BMW Motorrad Team Thevent and Yamaha GMT 94 fought for third and fourth with the Honda TT Legends in fifth. The positions remained largely unchanged for the entire race.

24-hour experts SRC Kawasaki eventually won by a one-minute margin, however the victory did not dent SERT’s position as the championship leader, meaning the latter collects its 12th EWC title. BMW Motorrad and Yamaha GMT 94 placed third and fourth in the race to claim second and third respectively in the championship. The Honda TT Legends just missed out on a top three championship finish by scoring 97 points – just one point off third place, which is no mean feat for a relatively novice squad.

Russell Benney – race manager 
This result just proves the reliability of the Fireblade and the test that the ABS system has gone through. We’ve had five consecutive finishes this year and we are only of only two machines to do so – the other being the championship winner. We’ve actually had seven consecutive finishes if you count the last two races of last season, so it terms of a test for the bike, the engine and the systems upon it, there is no bigger rigour that endurance racing. This is superbike racing for 24 hours, multiplied to make 72 hours in a season. That’s 72 hours of consecutive racing for every component on the motorcycle and I can’t think of any better test than that. Of course, the riders and crew have done a brilliant job this year and we have worked so hard to achieve what we have. I think we can be proud. 

John McGuinnes

John McGuinness

John McGuinness
It’s a fantastic achievement for us all really. We’ve worked well together, we’ve travelled the world together, we’ve had success at North West and the TT and we’ve done ourselves proud in endurance. When you put 24-hours in and you’re that close to being top three in the world, it’s just frustrating. I tired my best. Every time I got on the bike I tried my best, whether it was in testing or racing. I haven’t thrown the bike down the road once and the bike’s never missed a beat all the way through, so yeah, it’s fantastic for us all.

Cameron Donald

Cameron Donald

Cameron Donald 
We have to be proud of ourselves. It’s our second year in world endurance and we’re top four. I’m devastated that we didn’t get top three because a medal would have been really sweet, but at the end of the day, we made a good account of ourselves and we did our best. We’re relative rookies to the discipline and the series so we should be proud. I’ve put a lot of work in, as has the whole team, and I got to work alongside some great people. It’s been a lot of fun. 

Mathieu Gines 
I am very happy with the race today. I think we did a good job. We pushed when we could and we got up to early on fifth and stayed fifth for 24-hours. The bike worked well, the team is great and I am very honoured to have had this opportunity. Well done to the team.

24 HEURES DU MANS RACE TOP TEN
1 SRC KAWASAKI – 844 LAPS
2 S.E.R.T. – 844 LAPS
3 BMW MOTORRAD FR THEVENT – 840 LAPS
4 YAMAHA GMT 94 MICHELIN – 839 LAPS
5 HONDA TT LEGENDS – 828 LAPS
6 NATIONAL MOTOS – 815 LAPS
7. MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA – 811
8 LOUIT MOTO 33  – 809 LAPS
9 PENZ13 KRAFTW. HERPIGNY – 806 LAPS
10  RAC 41 YAM AVENUE IPONE – 803 LAPS     

2012 EWC STANDINGS
1 S.E.R.T. 128
2. BMW MOTORRAD TEAM FR THEVENT 104
3. YAMAHA GMT 94 MICHELIN 98
4. HONDA TT LEGENDS 97
5. TEAM SRC KAWASAKI 80
6. MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA 59
7. BOLLIGER TEAM SWITZERLAND 55
8. YAMAHA FOLCH ENDURANCE 55
9. TEAM R2CL 49
10. FCC TSR HONDA 49

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