Yamaha Austria Racing Team kick-off 2010 World Endurance season with a hard fought podium

2009 World Endurance Champions YART (Yamaha Austria Racing Team) made a great start to their 2010 championship challenge at Le Mans last weekend, battling through the legendary 24Hrs race to secure a second place finish on the podium. Having qualified fourth on the grid, riders Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani pushed hard, leading the race for several laps until a mechanical issue with the rear wheel caused an unscheduled stop. But despite the setbacks they battled on with their 2010 YZF-R1 to claim their deserved podium finish.

"The initial speed of the race was incredibly high," said YART team manager Mandy Kainz. "It was a challenging first race of the season but we rose to meet it and the riders, team and bike performed brilliantly. I'm really overjoyed that we managed to secure second place, keeping us close to the top of the championship table. I'm confident we can challenge for another world title this year."

The Yamaha France GMT94 Ipone Team also put in an incredible effort for the opening round of the 2010 championship. The team had a temporary setback with a broken exhaust pipe but were back on the track after losing 19 minutes to try and make up the lost time. From 43rd place riders David Checa, Gregorio Lavilla and Kenny Foray pushed their YZF-R1, delivering fast consistent laps through the night, finishing just one place off the podium at the chequered flag in fourth place.

The Yamaha France GMT94 Ipone Team achieved their impressive result riding on Bridgestone tyres, the manufacturer finally getting an official presence in the championship this year.

"I saw men who never let up for 24 hours," said team owner Christophe Guyot, " a team that was always attentive to their needs, Bridgestone technicians seeking information throughout the entire race, and a Yamaha R1 that ran like clockwork. We were all united, focused towards getting the best possible result. And this fourth place is a fantastic reward to us."

The second round of the World Endurance Championship will be the 8Hrs race held on May 22nd at Albacete, Spain

-source: yamaha