The Honda Endurance Racing team celebrates its 24 Hours of Catalunya podium after leading today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for most of the race.

After 24 hours of effort and tough racing with hot temperatures at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Honda Endurance Racing crossed the finish line in second position with a 9-lap gap.

The 24 Hours of Catalunya that were seen as a pre-Suzuka test for the team went well as Honda’s endurance specialists Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert managed to get the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP on the second step of the podium.

The team was leading the race for long hours until a little technical issue kept the CBR in the garage for a longer pit stop than expected in the early morning. When Sébastien Gimbert went back on track after twenty minutes working on the bike, the team was down in second position with a 10-lap gap to catch up. Honda’s endurance rider Sébastien Gimbert pushed hard to try to close the gap and even scored the fastest lap on track with a 1’48.515 lap time. But despite all the riders’ efforts, the team was unable to catch up with the leading team.

This 24-hour test race still offered the riders plenty of valuable track time and the data collected from this race will be of a great value for the team’s strategy for the rest of the season.

This positive result allows the Honda Endurance Racing team to confirm that the technical changes that were made on the bike since the Le Mans race were good and to gain a lot of confidence ahead of the Suzuka 8 Hours that takes place in two weeks time on 26 July.

For all the latest news on the team in real time follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.

Honda Endurance Racing: 24 Horas de Catalunya
Neil Tuxworth

Neil Tuxworth

Team Manager

It’s been another difficult race for our team, but we’re very pleased to finish. We mainly used this race as a test, not as a race, we have many new items on the bike we wanted to try and also we are very pleased the bike has successfully finished. We did lose twenty minutes during the race with an unfortunate problem with our clutch, but that certainly wasn’t one of the parts we were testing. All the other items that we have built and made for Suzuka worked very well and also, because of the hot weather here it has been an exceptionally good test for the riders for the humidity and the heat before we go off to Japan. So all in all, I think it’s been a very successful event for our team.

Private: Honda Endurance Racing
Steven Casaer

Steven Casaer

Race manager

This was more a test than a race obviously, but it was a good test. We came here to try the new bike with the new engine, so we did everything with one bike and one engine, including all the practice, so that was very good. We had obviously some issues because we were testing a lot of new things; we had some doubts so we were very preventive in the way we worked. We did some pit work more out of prevention than for actual trouble, so it was very interesting for us and hopefully it will give us a good starting point for the rest of the season.

Private: Honda Endurance Racing
Julien Da Costa

Julien Da Costa 111

2nd

I am a bit disappointed because we had a few issues that made us lose some laps in the race, but the positive point is that the bike finished the 24-hour race and this was our main goal. Until now we had difficulties to finish a 24-hour race, so it is very encouraging. We still have a few more things to learn, but the team proved that the CBR is reliable and that little by little, we’re getting our old problems fixed, so we can say we are going in the right direction now.

Private: Honda Endurance Racing
Freddy  Foray

Freddy Foray 111

2nd

We finished in second position so obviously we are competitors we would have preferred to finish first. I think that what we have to keep in mind is that we mainly came here to test things and to finish the race. In spite of everything, it is really great to finish a 24-hour race, it is a pity that we had a few issues that cost us the victory but now I think that we can be really confident ahead of the Bol d’Or.

Honda Racing Corporation
Sébastien Gimbert

Sébastien Gimbert 111

2nd

I really enjoyed racing on this circuit, I did the fastest lap on track during the race, so this was satisfying, but I would have liked to bring a victory to my team and my team-mates in addition to this lap record. What we have to keep in mind is the great work done during the whole weekend, and I think that it will be positive ahead of Suzuka as it allowed the whole team to get well prepared, so it is great that we went here for this test.
I am happy to be working with my team-mates Freddy and Julien, our relationship is really good, we laugh a lot together and it is very important – sometimes during a race we just stare at each other and we burst out laughing for no reason, it is a great boost for us all especially when we’re exhausted in the middle of the night.

Private: Honda Endurance Racing
24 Horas de Catalunya de Motociclismo
Saturday 11 Jul 2015, 15:59 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Laps
1 Yamalube Folch Endurance 1 Yamaha 751
2 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 742
3 Yamalube Folch Endurance 2 Yamaha 725
4 Monlau Repsol Technical School 2 Kawasaki 722
5 Team Tecmas BMW BMW 717
6 LRT 414 Honda 712
7 Arcuroso Junior Team Kawasaki 709
8 SRTeam Honda 708
9 Team Moto Attitude Yamaha 706
10 Escuderia Èxit - Ceroca 1 Suzuki 705
11 Tip Top Team 56 Kawasaki 705
12 Team Motostyl/Rapide Moto Kawasaki 700
13 Arcuroso Senior Team Kawasaki 696
14 Girls Racing Team Yamaha 694
15 Team PMR 38 Kawasaki 687
16 Challenge 2R Suzuki 679
17 DCR Racing Service 1 Honda 677
18 Moto Club de Gémenos Racing Team Suzuki 676
19 Team Pedercini S.R.L Kawasaki 674
20 DCR Racing Service 2 Honda 673
21 Team JCB Endurance Kawasaki 671
22 Motocrom +50 BMW 668
23 CMT Racing Honda 665
24 RACING TEAM 87 664
25 TCXB & Enervats Honda 662
Overall Qualifying Classification
Friday 10 Jul 2015, 19:17 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 1'49.065
2 Yamalube Folch Endurance 1 Yamaha 1'50.620
3 Suzuki Català Suzuki 1'50.652
4 Team Olive Moto Endurance Kawasaki 1'51.507
5 Team Tecmas BMW BMW 1'52.319
6 Team R2CL - MKS - Partelya Suzuki 1'53.058
7 TEAM RACING 85 Kawasaki 1'53.116
8 Alpes Endurance BMW 1'53.609
9 Monlau Repsol Technical School 2 Kawasaki 1'54.011
10 Team Pedercini S.R.L Kawasaki 1'54.536
11 Team Moto Attitude Yamaha 1'54.797
12 Team MRT "Maxxess Racing Team" BMW 1'54.861
13 FSB Racing Kawasaki 1'55.141
14 Arcuroso Junior Team Kawasaki 1'55.255
15 LRT 414 Honda 1'55.452
16 Monlau Repsol Technical School 1 Kawasaki 1'55.478
17 Arcuroso Senior Team Kawasaki 1'55.541
18 Escuderia Èxit - Ceroca 1 Suzuki 1'55.824
19 Team Motostyl/Rapide Moto Kawasaki 1'56.038
20 Tip Top Team 56 Kawasaki 1'56.375
21 SRTeam Honda 1'56.670
22 Piste Libre Endurance Suzuki 1'57.128
23 Girls Racing Team Yamaha 1'57.388
24 CC Motos Racing Endurance Kawasaki 1'57.503
25 Team ASMV Endurance 74 Triumph 1'57.536