Endurance

Josh Hook

2018 FIM Endurance World Champion

Born on 9 January 1993 in Taree, Australia

JOSH HOOKS HIMSELF A WORLD TITLE

Josh Hook enjoyed a history-making fourth season with F.C.C. TSR as Masakazu Fujii’s outfit joined forces with Honda France and became the first Japanese team ever to win the FIM EWC World Championship in 2017-18. Hook’s success story with the team began in 2015 when he climbed the Suzuka 8 Hour podium alongside Dominique Aegerter and Kyle Smith, a feat he repeated with Aegerter and Randy de Puniet in 2017.

Like many Australians, Hook’s racing career started in dirt track before he switched to the asphalt and embarked on an international circuit racing career that began in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, where he scored a handful of top ten finishes with a best result of fifth. Whilst still in his teens, Hook headed back Australia to win the 125GP championship, moving up to Supersport in 2011 and finishing second overall, whilst also taking third in the Petronas Asia Dream Cup.

After finishing fifth in the Australian Superbike Championship in 2013 and 2014, Hook’s trajectory shifted towards FIM EWC glory when he made a switch to Japanese Superbikes in 2015, impressing team bosses enough to earn his shot at the Suzuka 8 hour. That famous podium finish opened the door to a number of opportunities at World Championship level, including Moto2, World Supersport and World Superbike, but with injuries hampering his progress in individual competitions over the next two seasons it was again the 8 Hour, with F.C.C. TSR, that provided the highlight of 2017.

For 2017-18 the team made his position full-time and with the guidance of Team Manager Masakazu Fujii and experienced team-mate Freddy Foray, Hook became Australia’s latest FIM World Champion.

Alan Techer

2018 FIM Endurance World Champion

Born on 8 September 1994 in Cannes, France

TECHER TAKES HIS CHANCE

Alan Techer became an FIM World Champion at the age of just 23, confirming the potential he first showed as an 11-year-old winning the French Minibike Academy series in 2005. A MotoGP fan from the age of six, when his father first bought him a Yamaha PW50, Techer has been a long-time student of motorcycle racing and of mechanics, even taking a three-year Bacaloriat course in the subject.

After progressing through various 70cc and 125cc competitions in France and Spain, Techer followed in the tyre tracks of many current champions through the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies series and despite missing much of the 2010 season after breaking his arm, he came back the following season and claimed a brace of pole positions and race wins. 

Other impressive performances in the French and Spanish 125cc championships earned him a spot in the FIM Moto3 World Championship in 2012 and Techer did not disappoint, making a number of points-scoring finishes including a best finish of eighth on a TSR Honda in his home Grand Prix at Le Mans.  

However, Techer’s finest moment at the famous French circuit would come six years later, in just his third season of FIM EWC World Championship racing, when alongside Josh Hook and Freddy Foray he was part of the F.C.C. TSR Honda France line-up that took a historic first win for a Japanese team in the 24 Heures.

That famous Le Mans victory took the trio to the top of the standings – a position they would not relinquish for the remainder of the season, and in a stunning finale at the Suzuka 8 Hour the trio wrote their names into the FIM history books with a title-clinching fifth place.

Freddy Foray

2018 FIM Endurance World Champion

Born on 2 August 1984 in Sèvre, France

 

FREDDY’S ENDURING DESIRE

Freddy Foray signed up with Masakazu Fujii’s F.C.C. TSR Honda France Team for 2018 and became an FIM Endurance World Champion for the third time in his career, finally backing up the title he won back in 2010 and 2011 with SERT.

After starting his career in the French 125cc, Supersport and Superbike Championships, Foray became a mainstay of the FIM EWC paddock from 2005, when he competed in the Bol d’Or for the first time. After showing his potential over several seasons in the Superstock category, in 2009 he was signed up as a replacement rider for SERT and he received his big break at the Bol d'Or, when he was drafted in to join Vincent Philippe and Olivier Four and won the race.

It was the start of a great relationship between Foray and SERT, who clinched the FIM EWC title for the next two seasons, but 2011 also featured a career low for the Frenchman when he suffered a head injury in a French Superbike round at Magny Cours. After departing SERT at the end of that year he came back in 2012 to win the Le Mans 24 Heures on a Kawasaki before switching to ride for Honda in the German and British Superbike paddocks.

Foray moved back to the FIM EWC with Honda in 2014 and even though he would have to wait longer than he’d hoped to challenge for another title, his opportunity came in 2018, when he was teamed up with relative newcomers Alan Techer and Josh Hook in a new-look F.C.C. TSR Honda France Team that took the Japanese manufacturer back to the top.

PALMARES

3 World titles: 2010, 2011 and 2018

F.C.C. TSR Honda France

2018 FIM Endurance Team World Champion

Team Manager: Masakazu Fujii (JPN)
Riders: Freddy Foray, Alan Techer, Josh Hook

F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Freddy Foray, Alan Techer and Josh Hook) became the first Japanese team to claim the FIM Endurance World Championship title in the history of the series, after a dramatic final-round decider at the world-famous Suzuka 8 Hour. In a race won for the fourth successive year by the Yamaha Factory Racing Team, the jubilant Japanese crowd had double cause for celebration as the two French riders and the Australian took Masakazu Fujii’s team to the title with fifth place.

Fujii headed up a new alliance for 2017-18 between the vastly experienced Honda France and Team FCC TSR, one of the great Japanese endurance specialists, with the aim of strengthening Honda’s presence at the highest level of the discipline. Fujii united existing TSR team members and Honda France employees with technicians from the Spanish structure Bruno Performance to create the perfect blend both on the track and in the garage.

Riding a CBR1000RR Fireblade prepared at the TSR workshops in Suzuka, Foray, Techer and Hook made a promising start to the season as they led the Bol d’Or last September, even though they crashed and finished sixth, as defending champions GMT94 Yamaha (David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Mike Di Meglio) claimed the win.

However, the trio made history next time out at Le Mans, making F.C.C. TSR Honda France the first Japanese team ever to win the 24 Heures Motos – also Honda’s first win there since 2006 - and shot to the top of the standings. They hung on by a single point after taking third behind YART Yamaha and GMT94 Yamaha at Slovakiaring, but extended their lead to ten points with a second victory from pole position at Oschersleben. Fifth place in that grand finale at Suzuka, combined with sixth for GMT94 Yamaha, was enough to secure a historic title by thirteen points.

David Checa

2017 FIM Endurance World Champion

Born on 20 April 1980 in Sant Fruitós de Bages, Spain

CHECA CLAIMS HAT-TRICK TITLE

David Checa was crowned as an FIM Endurance World Champion for the third time in 2017, following on from his previous successes with the GMT94 Yamaha team back in 2004 and 2014. Checa has been an integral part of the GMT94 Yamaha team in every EWC season they have contested, enjoying a first success together way back in 2003, when they won the Oschersleben 24-hour race.

That season was his first experience with Yamaha, also racing a YZF-R1 in the Spanish championship, and the introduction of the third-generation of the machine in 2004 saw him dominate the EWC to capture the title for the first time, taking victory in the Oschersleben 24 hours and Zhuhaï 6 Hours rounds. In 2005 he won at Le Mans and finished second at the Bol d’Or, but after missing out on the title he tried his hand at other individual series', including the FIM World Superbike Championship, which he contested also with GMT94, in 2008 and 2009. 

The experienced Spanish rider, who spent the early part of his career racing with some success in the FIM 250cc World Championship and also scored points in MotoGP during 2005, found his home back in EWC in 2010 and finally lifted the title for a second time, ten years on from the first, in 2014. After missing out to SERT in the team category and Lucas Mahias in the individual stakes in 2016, the younger brother of former FIM World Superbike Champion Carlos Checa this year shares the rider's crown with his title-winning GMT94 Yamaha team-mate Niccolò Canepa.

PALMARES
3 World titles – 2004, 2014, 2017

Niccolò Canepa

2017 FIM Endurance World Champion

Born on 15 May 1988 in Genova, Italy

IF ANYBODY CAN, NICCOLO CAN

Niccolò Canepa was crowned as an FIM Endurance World Champion in an exciting final round at the Suzuka 8 Hour, barely a year after making his debut in the discipline following a long career as a successful Superstock, MotoGP and World Superbike rider. The Italian hooked up with the experienced GMT94 Yamaha team in 2016, forming a strong relationship with team stalwart David Checa that took them to within a point of the FIM EWC title in their first campaign together.

After taking ninth place in the opening round of the new season at the Bol d'Or in 2016, the pair were joined by Mike Di Meglio for the 2017 races and stormed to victories at the Le Mans 24 Heures, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben and the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring to hunt down early leaders and defending champions SERT.

Canepa first made his name as the FIM Superstock 1000 Champion in 2007 and after some impressive testing performances with Ducati he was awarded a satellite MotoGP seat for 2009, finishing in a respectable sixteenth. After spending 2010 in the Moto2 class he returned to production racing, finishing second in Superstock in 2011 and in the World Superbike Evo class in 2014, before finding an affinity with World Endurance and the GMT94 Yamaha team. 

With Di Meglio having missed out on their result at the Bol D'Or, Canepa consequently shares the 2016-2017 FIM EWC rider's crown with his title-winning team-mate David Checa.

PALMARES
World title – 2017

GMT94 Yamaha

2017 FIM Endurance World Champion Team Manager

Team Manager: Christophe Guyot
Riders: David Checha, Niccolò Canepa, Mike Di Meglio

JAPANESE JOY FOR GMT94!

GMT94 Yamaha reclaimed the FIM Endurance World Championship title they had previously won in 2004 and 2014 in a thrilling grande finale to the season at the 40th anniversary of the Suzuka 8 Hours.

Defending champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) had led the standings throughout the season after winning the Bol d’Or 2016 last September, but by the time they got to Suzuka in August 2017, they had a lead of only one point over GMT94 Yamaha, who had picked up three wins - at the Le Mans 24 Heures, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben and the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring – since signing former FIM 125cc World Champion Mike Di Meglio to join David Checa and Niccolò Canepa for this year's races.

The French factory Suzuki team – 15-time FIM EWC world champions – dropped out of the running for yet another world title when Sodo Hamahara crashed out, causing the Suzuki #1 to drop back to beyond 30th place. A safety car intervention then partially stymied Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and their Japanese teammate’s efforts to climb any higher than 18th.

YART Yamaha Official EWC Team, who withdrew from the Bol d’Or but stepped on the podium at Le Mans and Oschersleben went all out to keep their title hopes alive but Mandy Kainz’s factory-backed Austrian team (Broc Parkes, Kohta Nozane and Marvin Fritz) had to settle for third overall after finishing fifth.

Meanwhile an eleventh-place finish for the team managed by Christophe Guyot was enough for a third FIM EWC title, whilst David Checa and Niccolò Canepa, who unlike Di Meglio were part of the GMT94 Yamaha line-up that finished ninth at the Bol d’Or, jointly claimed the riders' honours.

 

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team

2016 FIM Endurance Team World Champion

SERT FIGHT BACK FOR FIFTEENTH TITLE!

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson) retained the FIM Endurance Team World Championship in a nail-biting end to the 2016 season, which saw them clinch the title by a single point from GMT94 Yamaha (David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Lucas Mahias) in the final round at the Oschersleben 8 Hours.

After victory for Team SRC Kawasaki (Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Foret) at the Le Mans 24h, the GMT94 Yamaha team established their title credentials with a historic win at round two in Portugal. The first ever running of the 12 Hours of Portimão proved to be an epic battle between GMT94 and SERT, which culminated in an unprecedented fight to the final corner between Checa and Masson that saw the Spaniard take the flag by just 0.081 seconds – the closest ever finish in the history of FIM EWC.

After two rounds it was Team April Moto Motors Events (Gregg Black, Grégory Fastré and Alex Cudlin) who held a surprise lead in the championship. They remained on top after Suzuka 8 Hours that saw Yamaha Factory Racing (Pol Espargaró, Alex Lowes and Katsuyuki Nakasuga) take local honours, whilst SERT failed to register a point. However, the challenge of Team April Moto Motors Events faded in Germany, where they could only manage eleventh place. At the front, suspense ran high until the very last minute of the race, as GMT94 Yamaha sealed their second win of the season, only for SERT to cross the line just 21 seconds behind them and snatch their fifteenth title.

TEAM MANAGER

Dominique Méliand

RIDERS

Vincent Philippe
Anthony Delhalle
Etienne Masson

PALMARES

15 Endurance Team World titles - 1983, 1987, 1988, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016