The Honda Endurance Racing team finished the 24 Heures Moto of the FIM Endurance World Championship in second position on the podium. Randy de Puniet, Sebastien Gimbert and Yonny Hernandez had to give their all as the fight for the victory was decided in the last three minutes of the race only.
The Honda Endurance Racing team entered the podium of the 42ndedition of the 24 Heures Motos of Le Mans. For the second round of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship, Randy de Puniet, Sébastien Gimbert and Yonny Hernandez fought to a heroic runner-up position after a gruelling full day distance.
After leading the race in the opening stages, the rear light broke lose and had to be fixed including a switch of the circuit. This was managed with a loss of only a bit over three minutes.
The team then head out on track again, taking on the battle down in eleventh position. But the Fireblade trio of de Puniet, Hernandez and Gimbert never gave up and soon was not only fighting for the podium positions again, but closed in to the leaders.
Even a small off of de Puniet could not hinder the team in making its way back up the ranks. De Puniet was lucky to escape from his crash with neither him nor the Fireblade SP2 taking damage. He could continue without having to pit in for repairs and not even at the next take over of Hernandez nothing had to be repaired.
During the night, the team mostly relied on de Puniet, sending him out every second stint. The former MotoGP rider didn’t disappoint and shortly after seven o’clock he rode the fastest lap of the race in 1’36.819 minutes.
The Honda Endurance Racing team constantly was the fastest team on track, making up those almost four lost minutes due to the repair and the small crash. The morning hours saw the #111 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 constantly swapping positions with their opponents for the win and the podium.
In the end the race turned out to be what will be remembered of one of the closest and most exciting races in the history of Endurance racing with the #111 Honda Endurance Racing team taking the second spot behind SRC Kawasaki (#11) in what where the last three minutes of the race. The team managed by Jonny Twelvetrees had to come in to the pits for a splash-and-dash refueling for not risking the result on the rostrum and with that handed the top step of the podium to the opponents. Not even a 10 minutes safety car 15 minutes to the end of the race would had made the dream of the 24 Heures Moto win happen. Still second is a big achievement for the team, which started with a completely new formed crew and a new evolution of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.