THE CZECH CHARGER!
The youngest member of the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) trio that raced to the 2023 FIM Endurance Team World Championship (ETWC), twenty-seven-year-old Karel Hanika is also the team’s most recent signing having joined for the 2019/20 season.
Born in Brno, a city with a long and illustrious history of motorcycle racing, Hanika started out competing on minibikes before graduating to full-sized machines and winning national titles in Austria and his native Czech Republic.
His performances on a 125cc machine earned him a full-time ride in the FIM Moto3™ World Championship where he showed sufficient speed to run in the top ten on numerous occasions and he has also scored points as a wild card in Moto2™ as well as racing as a wild card in the FIM Superbike World Championship.
After he signed for YART, Hanika did not have to wait long for success and in his first season with the team he savoured the sweet taste of victory at the 8 Hours of Sepang and 12 Hours of Estoril alongside Germany’s Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa from Italy on the way to second in the 2019/20 championship.
Armed with Yamaha’s race-proven R1 machine, Hanika’s 2023 campaign started in April in France at the iconic Circuit Bugatti at Le Mans where YART posted second at the 24 Heures Motos before sweeping to victory two months later at the 24H Spa EWC Motos at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Hanika was taking his turn behind the handlebars at the Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race in Japan in August when an electrical problem dropped the team back to fourteenth which cost them their championship lead, however a solid fourth-placed finish at the deciding round – the Bol d’Or at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France – in September clinched the crown.
FIM Endurance World Champion: 2023