Late Rider Change Promotes YART Yamaha to Le Mans 24 Pole Position

2018-04-20 09:32
The YART Yamaha Official EWC Team have been on consistent, dominant form in the run up to this weekend’s 40th edition of the 24 Heures Motos. Regular riders Broc Parkes and Marvin Fritz had been the riders to beat in qualifying, bringing the average speed of their team up to second in overall time, with third rider and Le Mans rookie Takuya Fujita doing his best to get to grips with the demanding Bugatti circuit.

After struggling with an unfortunate stomach illness today, Takuya has made the decision to withdraw from the race, to give his team the best chance of success. YART Sporting Director and reserve rider Max Neukirchner will step up in his place, the move having a knock on effect on YART’s qualifying position. As Max’s time was faster than Takuya’s, the team average qualifying time is fast enough to put YART on pole position for the 40th 24 Heures Motos race tomorrow.


Takuya Fujita
YART Yamaha Official EWC Rider
“I’m really sorry for my team that I have to take the decision to step down at this very late moment. My first time here challenging for the 24 Heures at Le Mans has been really exciting and I’ve enjoyed learning the track alongside my teammates. Their experience and speed is amazing! Unfortunately I’m not feeling very well, so having discussed with my team manager I feel it is correct to withdraw now and not risk harming the team’s chances of success. I know Max is also very fast here so I feel strongly they will still be able to fight at the front.”

Max Neukirchner
YART Yamaha Official EWC Rider
“I’m obviously very sorry for Takuya that he is not able to continue through the weekend and experience his first Le Mans 24 experience. Having said that I know how very difficult it can be to face such a marathon race when you are not physically in good form for it, so he has made the correct decision. I’m looking forward to doing my best to support my teammates Broc and Marvin and taking the fight all the way to the finish line.”

Mandy Kainz
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team Manager
“We’re very proud of Takuya who has put in a really strong effort in these first sessions leading up to the race. I’m sorry for him that he will not get to experience the race itself but we have to be practical and ensure we line up with a fully fit team. I have full confidence in Max to play his part alongside Broc and Marvin, I believe we have everything in place to fight for victory. It’s a long race and anything can happen in Endurance, but we are as good as we can be!”

Source: Yamaha Motor Europe

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