Born on 14 May 1988 in Genoa, Italy
As his nation’s first-ever FIM Endurance World Champion as a member of the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team that contested the 2016/17 series, Niccolò Canepa already had a very impressive racing résumé when he joined the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) for the 2018/19 season.
The thirty-five-year-old from the north-west of Italy is a true all-rounder who is always open to a new challenge. He has built up a wealth of experience over a career that has seen him win the 2007 FIM European Superstock 1000 Cup and contest the FIM MotoGP™ and Moto2™ World Championships along with the FIM Superbike World Championship and he also scored a podium finish in last year’s FIM MotoE™ World Cup.
Competing alongside Germany’s Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika from the Czech Republic, Canepa played an integral role in YART’s FIM Endurance Team World Championship title-winning effort this season.
Aboard Yamaha’s race-proven R1 machine, Canepa’s season started in April at Le Mans in France with the 24 Heures Motos at the Circuit Bugatti where the fast threesome claimed a second-placed finish before going one better in June when the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium was the venue for the 24H Spa EWC Motos.
Holding the points lead heading to the land of the rising sun for the Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race in August, an electrical problem restricted YART to a lowly fourteenth, cost them their position at the top of the table and very nearly derailed their championship challenge.
The decider was the Bol d’Or at the Circuit Paul Ricard and although YART failed to make it onto the podium in France, their fourth-placed finish ensured the team regained the title they last won in 2009.
FIM Endurance World Champion: 2016/17, 2023
FIM European Superstock 1000 Cup Champion: 2007
IF ANYBODY CAN, NICCOLO CAN
Niccolò Canepa was crowned as an FIM Endurance World Champion in an exciting final round at the Suzuka 8 Hour, barely a year after making his debut in the discipline following a long career as a successful Superstock, MotoGP and World Superbike rider. The Italian hooked up with the experienced GMT94 Yamaha team in 2016, forming a strong relationship with team stalwart David Checa that took them to within a point of the FIM EWC title in their first campaign together.
After taking ninth place in the opening round of the new season at the Bol d'Or in 2016, the pair were joined by Mike Di Meglio for the 2017 races and stormed to victories at the Le Mans 24 Heures, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben and the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring to hunt down early leaders and defending champions SERT.
Canepa first made his name as the FIM Superstock 1000 Champion in 2007 and after some impressive testing performances with Ducati he was awarded a satellite MotoGP seat for 2009, finishing in a respectable sixteenth. After spending 2010 in the Moto2 class he returned to production racing, finishing second in Superstock in 2011 and in the World Superbike Evo class in 2014, before finding an affinity with World Endurance and the GMT94 Yamaha team.
With Di Meglio having missed out on their result at the Bol D'Or, Canepa consequently shares the 2016-2017 FIM EWC rider's crown with his title-winning team-mate David Checa.
World title – 2017