Motorcycle Racing News FIM Endurance: 8 Hours of Doha Preview

FIM Endurance: 8 Hours of Doha Preview


2011 Endurance World Championship Finale

Like last year, the 8 Hours of Doha, the last round of the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship, will crown the 2011 World Champion.

Scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 12, in Qatar, the final round will decide who will get the title between the two contenders, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and the BMW Motorrad France 99. As the Team SRC Kawasaki is not entering the race (they only participated in the Bol d’Or and the 24 Hours of Le Mans), the battle also promises to be intense for the third spot on the podium.

The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team French team leads the Belgian team BMW Motorrad France 99 by nine points only; however, the Qatar winner will take 30 points. Winner of the 8 Hours of Albacete, 4th in Suzuka just behind the Japanese top teams, the BMW Motorrad France 99 is one of the favourite for a Qatar victory despite the technical problems encountered in Le Mans.

The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is currently still uncertain, as Vincent Philippe is recovering from a broken collarbone due to a crash during the 24 Hours of Le Mans practice and Freddy Foray does not seem to be perfectly fit after the injuries he suffered in the middle of the season. But the ten times world champion team is full of resources. They proved it once again by their Le Mans second place, just behind the Team SRC Kawasaki.

Fourth in the provisional championship, the Yamaha Racing France GMT 94 Ipone seems to be in the best position to finish the 2011 world championship in third place. The official French Yamaha will have to beware its Austrian sibling, though, the Monster Yamaha YART.

To replace Gwen Giabbani, YART called another top rider, Katsuyuki Nakasuga. This Japanese rider already put the Monster Yamaha in the second place of the Suzuka starting grid. He was also replacing Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP at Sepang. The YMES Folch Endurance and the Kawasaki of Bolliger Team Switzerland could also join the battle.

The 2011 FIM World Cup already went to the French team Motors Events Bodyguard AMT (Suzuki), but the race promised to be highly disputed in the Superstock class. The Van Zon Boenig Motorsportschool Penz13 RT will want to forget about their Le Mans disappointment. The Qatar Endurance Racing Team is entering three machines, one with top riders Alex Cudlin, Nasser Al Malki and Rashid Al Mannai, and a 100 % female team with three riders who impressed in Europe, the German Nina Prinz, the Italian Paola Cazzola and the Hungarian Nikolett Kovacs.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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