Team Manager: Christophe Guyot
Riders: David Checha, Niccolò Canepa, Mike Di Meglio
JAPANESE JOY FOR GMT94!
GMT94 Yamaha reclaimed the FIM Endurance World Championship title they had previously won in 2004 and 2014 in a thrilling grande finale to the season at the 40th anniversary of the Suzuka 8 Hours.
Defending champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) had led the standings throughout the season after winning the Bol d’Or 2016 last September, but by the time they got to Suzuka in August 2017, they had a lead of only one point over GMT94 Yamaha, who had picked up three wins - at the Le Mans 24 Heures, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben and the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring – since signing former FIM 125cc World Champion Mike Di Meglio to join David Checa and Niccolò Canepa for this year's races.
The French factory Suzuki team – 15-time FIM EWC world champions – dropped out of the running for yet another world title when Sodo Hamahara crashed out, causing the Suzuki #1 to drop back to beyond 30th place. A safety car intervention then partially stymied Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and their Japanese teammate’s efforts to climb any higher than 18th.
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team, who withdrew from the Bol d’Or but stepped on the podium at Le Mans and Oschersleben went all out to keep their title hopes alive but Mandy Kainz’s factory-backed Austrian team (Broc Parkes, Kohta Nozane and Marvin Fritz) had to settle for third overall after finishing fifth.
Meanwhile an eleventh-place finish for the team managed by Christophe Guyot was enough for a third FIM EWC title, whilst David Checa and Niccolò Canepa, who unlike Di Meglio were part of the GMT94 Yamaha line-up that finished ninth at the Bol d’Or, jointly claimed the riders' honours.