A season of two parts for the Austrian team, plagued with technical problems and issues on the start line that put paid to their hard work in qualifying
The podium at Most, just 0.070 of a second from BMW, was little consolation for a team that had set out to battle for the title with Yoshimura SERT, BMW, FCC TSR Honda and Webike SRC Kawasaki, but that eventually finished sixth with just 88 points, compared to a tally of 175.5 for the champions.
The difference in points came down to the technical problems that plagued the Austrian team in the previous three races. Forced to retire in some cases, YART nevertheless scored points, considering the percentage of recent races they were able to complete.
But what’s really made the Austrian team’s season tough has been the starts. In all four races, the team’s first rider has consistently messed up the start and had to get back on. Something that continued at Most with local hero Karel Hanika left at a standstill and forced to restart his R1. It was less of a challenge to climb back up from last place at Most considering the limited number of bikes on track, but in the other races this proved tougher with 40 or more bikes entered. This of course led to a different race strategy and greater stress for the components of the #7 R1.
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But one area in which YART has proved almost unbeatable is qualifying, with three pole positions in four races. So the speed is clearly there, but technical problems have then impacted on performance across all races, with the exception of Most.
At the end of the Czech race, Niccolo Canepa commented: “We are happy with the performance here in Most. Normally when you miss out on the victory as we did it’s not a nice feeling, but today it is the opposite. All three of us were the fastest riders and the bike was perfect. I was incredibly happy with my stint because this week I haven’t done more than five laps in a row due to my illness. We managed 33 laps in a row and was fast up until the last lap so for this, I’m happy! Marvin at the end did an awesome job to recover from the struggles we faced at the start of the race. We also lost a bit of time with the extra fuel stop and for this reason we were unable to recover the gap to the leaders. But we leave here with no regrets because we were really strong and we can go into winter mentally strong and ready to fight again in 2022. Now, we, as a team, have to prepare and come back stronger next season because the issues we faced this year is what cost us the title this year. I want to say thank you to the YART team because everybody has done an incredible job, the pit stops have been amazing all year so I’m happy that we can end this season with a podium to repay their hard work.”
As a hopeful Canepa points out, the Most podium needs to serve as a starting point ahead of next year, in the hope that the technical problems and difficulties off the line can be worked out, so that the Austrian team can fight for the title once again in 2022.
Translated by Heather Watson