Once again held behind closed doors due to the global health crisis, the 2021 24 Heures Motos will nevertheless have an impressive starting grid. 52 machines will line up at 12 noon on Saturday 17 April on the start-finish straight of the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans. Only 38 teams took part last season.
35 teams are under contract this season, and the ever-increasing quality of the contenders is further proof of the vitality of the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship.
Six factory teams will be there, with greater Japanese involvement in terms of Yoshimura SERT Motul and F.C.C. TSR Honda France. Two Japanese riders, Wazuki Watanabe and Yuki Takahashi respectively, have joined the two line-ups.
Other international riders have joined the teams under contract. Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli, the 2014 Superbike world champion, will be on the saddle of Yoshimura SERT Motul’s Suzuki. Spaniard Javier Forés, also a former World Superbike rider, has joined BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher, the 2019 Supersport world champion, will shore up the ambitious Wójcik Racing Team. British rider Danny Kent, the 2015 Moto3 world champion, will make his Endurance debut with R2CL.
A similar trend of recruiting high-level riders can be seen among the privateer teams.
At 12 noon on Saturday 17 April, 18 Formula EWC machines, 33 Superstock bikes and one bike in the Experimental class will be on the grid of the 44th edition of the 24 Heures Motos. F.C.C. TSR Honda France, last year’s winners, will attempt to hold on to their 2020 trophy against increasingly strong competition.
The first official tests take place at Le Mans on Thursday 15 April.
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, promoter of the FIM EWC
“Considering the circumstances, we’re only too pleased with the grid of the 2021 24 Heures Motos: 52 bikes including 35 permanent teams of 10 different nationalities with riders from 17 different countries is the finest of responses to the pandemic! Endurance is holding its ground, we’re working closely with the FIM and the organizers to get through this crisis and come out of it stronger while awaiting the public’s return.”