Randy de Puniet, Sébastien Gimbert and Yonny Hernandez brought home their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 in eighth position at the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring. The third round of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship was held in more than tricky weather conditions, making the push for victory on a knife-edge. But even after bad luck struck, the Honda Endurance Racing team never gave up and made it to the finish line, earning further points for the World Championship standings.
The 2019 edition of the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring was a fairly wet and tricky affair for Honda Endurance Racing. It had started with wet conditions in Qualifying on Thursday, so riders and teams welcomed the sun for today’s race. But in the last three hours of the race rain fell on and off, making it a gamble for teams’ on what tyre choice would be suitable to go the distance.
Honda Endurance Racing’s trio proved to be the fastest of the Endurance Championship teams on track, but pushing for victory always means to be close to the limit. The trio was constantly fighting with eventual winners YART, however first to fall to the conditions was de Puniet who ran out of track and into the gravel. With no damage to the Fireblade he was able to finish his stint, with team dropping to second – 30 seconds behind the leaders.
When the conditions got tricky, it was Hernandez who made the headlines. Opting for the correct tyre choice he first lost out on the opponents of YART, but he made it all up at the end of his stint.
Towards the end of the race, de Puniet went out on a full slick set-up, but once again fell victim to the conditions. Losing rear grip the Fireblade flipped through the gravel, and de Puniet set about getting the bike back to the garage as quickly as possible. Quick work from the super-slick Honda team saw the Fireblade repaired and it was over to Gimbert to finish the race. In the end the squad finished eighth, gaining another 15 points towards the World Championship.
With three of five rounds of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship complete, Honda Endurance Racing holds sixth position overall, having earned 75 points.