There was heartbreak in Germany this evening as the Honda Endurance Racing team was forced to retire from the fourth round of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben, with just over one-hour left of the race.
Starting the race from second place, Randy de Puniet, Sébastien Gimbert and Yonny Hernandez were riding strong and it was looking hopeful for Honda’s endurance specialists. Fighting for the podium it was Hernandez aboard the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, but disaster struck when he hit oil on the circuit left by a competitor machine. Unhurt from the fall Hernandez brought the Fireblade back to the pits, where the super-slick Honda crew did an outstanding job to re-build the bike, and send de Puniet out in less than ten minutes of repair time.
Sadly de Puniet came back after one lap, with the safety car still circulating and left the team to discover the frame had broken after the crash, which caused a heartbreaking early retirement.
Honda Endurance Racing holds on to sixth place in the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship having earned another four points for Qualifying second. The team has now 79 points and will turn its heads to the final round of the season with the Suzuka 8 Hours at the end of July.