Honda Motor Europe has announced that it will retain the formidable rider line-up of Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastien Gimbert for its 2015 Endurance World Championship campaign. The three former EWC champions will contest the full season aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP as the Honda Racing team renews its quest to clinch the championship title.
2014 produced many positives for the team, including its maiden race victory at the Oschersleben 8 Hours, where it led the race from the start to finish. The crew and riders will be looking to continue this momentum as they approach 2015 with the clear aim of racing to win.
To kick off the new season and as part of Honda Motor Europe’s continued commitment to maximising its riders’ potential, Julien Da Costa and Freddy Foray will today be taking part in an assessment day at the English Institute of Sport – the organisation behind much of Team GB’s outstanding success at the London 2012 Olympics. The data collected from the physio and isometric tests and strength and conditioning assessments will be collated to form the basis of the riders’ training and fitness programmes for 2015.
Pata Honda’s World Superbike contenders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark, Honda-Zanardo’s Enduro star Alex Salvini and Honda Racing road racers John McGuinness and Conor Cummins will also attend. Gimbert is unable to take part due to illness.
The full 2015 Endurance World Championship calendar is still to be confirmed by the FIM, but the season will begin with the return of the Le Mans 24 Heures Moto to its traditional slot on 18/19 April. Pre-season testing will begin in March. For all the latest news on the team follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.
We’re very pleased to have re-signed Julien, Freddy and Sebastien for the 2015 EWC season. There’s no doubt that they are three of the strongest riders in the championship and we have high hopes for the year ahead. The most significant benefit to retaining all three riders – aside from their combined outstanding EWC track record – is the fact that we have a year’s worth of data and results to work from. This, coupled with the extensive pre-season testing programme we have planned and the hard work that the crew has put in on the bike over the winter, means that we are in a very strong position for 2015.
Julien Da Costa
I’m very excited about the 2015 season because last year, mechanical issues aside, we were competitive in all races. We have a very strong team and a strong bike so this year should be amazing! We really want to win races, especially a 24-hour race to show that we can do it, and we also dream of becoming world champions, but EWC races are very difficult. The best thing for me about Honda Racing is the great team that we have around us: the mechanics, physio, timekeepers… everyone is so professional and friendly and we all take care of each other. We are a family and to win the championship would be such a reward for everyone’s hard work. Today’s fitness assessment has been a very positive way to start the year, giving us the motivation we need to work hard to achieve our goals.
I’m really looking forward to starting this new year. For 2015, I will only be doing World Endurance so it means I can focus 100% on winning the championship. We were a very strong team in 2014 but we did have some bad luck. Now we have a year of experience together as a team and we have learned so much that there is no doubt we can come back even stronger in 2015. I am really happy to be able to start the season with the training day at the EIS because it puts us in the right frame of mind to begin the season – we’ll be aiming to win from the start!
I’m very happy to be with Honda for a second year. The winter break is very long and I’m looking forward to seeing the team and riding the bike! My goal for the year is the same as my goal every time I get on the bike – to give it my best and to win races and the championship. Freddy, Julien and I work very well together and our riding styles and times are very similar, which is really important. We have a very professional team, the best bike that is easy to ride in all conditions and now a year of experience behind us. The team has worked very hard over the winter and I trust them and look forward to 2015.