Honda has revealed it will contest the second round of the FIM Endurance World Championship (the 24 Heures Motos, Le Mans), with a new rider line-up for the Honda Endurance Racing team. Randy de Puniet will join Yonny Hernandez alongside Sébastien Gimbert aboard the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
de Puniet has a history with Honda. He raced for the LCR Honda team from 2008-2010 in MotoGP where he stood on the podium, and he helped F.C.C. TSR Honda France secure 3rd place at the Suzuka 8 Hours (2016-2017). The 38-year-old has also finished on the EWC podium a further five times, and was the French 125cc Champion in 1998 and a race-winner in the 250cc class of MotoGP.
Hernandez is no stranger to the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and the championship, having ridden for Honda Endurance Racing on two occasions, where he and the team finished 3rd at the prestigious Bol d’Or 24-hour and the Suzuka 8 Hours. A rider of wide experience, he has raced at world level in MotoGP, Moto2 and World SBK.
Gimbert has played an integral part of the Honda team since joining in 2014. Working on the development of the Fireblade, he has helped secured a win and podiums, as well as taking the squad to their highest championship result in 3rd place in the 2017-2018 season.
The opening round of the 2018-2019 EWC got underway last September with the Bol d’Or, and the Honda squad is looking ahead to the remaining four rounds where they will re-focus the strategy to challenge for the championship title.
2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship Calendar:
1. 15-16 September 2018 – Bol d’Or
2. 20-21 April 2019 – 24 Heures Motos
3. 11 May – 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring
4. 8 June – Oschersleben 8 Hours
5. 28 July – Suzuka 8 Hours