Yamaha sweeps Qatar 8 hour podium
After eight intense hours around the impressive Losail circuit in the Qatari desert the YZF-R1 claimed all three podium spots in the final round of six in the Endurance FIM World Championship. Yamaha Austria Racing Team, represented by Igor Jerman, Steve Plater and Steve Martin finished ahead of Yamaha Folch Endurance and Maco Moto Racing.
For Jerman and Martin it was a case of sweet revenge after narrowly missing out on victory in Losail twelve months previously. Their triumph, together with Plater on this occasion, gave YART their first set of winner's garlands in 2008 and confirmed their vice-champion standing in the '08 competition.
The team ended the meeting three laps ahead of Folch Endurance; the Spanish duo of Daniel Ribalta and Pedro Vallcaneras losing precious time to a rear wheel problem. The crew were nevertheless pleased to end their first season at world level with a decent third place overall in the championship.
Small problems impeded the progress of Maco Moto Racing but Jason Pridmore and Thomas Hinterreiter were joined by WSB runner Jakub Smrz for a final and memorable podium placing with the R1.
The Qatar event represented the third consecutive podium finish for YART as they took 2nd position at Oschersleben in August and 3rd spot at the Bol d'Or in France in September.