ERC Endurance Ducati: Bad luck to end the 2020 season at Estoril

ERC Endurance Ducati: Bad luck to end the 2020 season at Estoril

ERC Endurance Ducati had to retire early at the final round of the 2019/2020 FIM Endurance World Championship at the 12 hours of Estoril. After a crash in the opening stages of the race, the Ducati Panigale V4R EWC bike could not be repaired on-site.

A weekend to forget for the ERC Endurance Ducati project: After only five laps of racing, the team was forced to retire from the 12 hours of Portugal at Portimao.

Starting rider Louis Rossi had lost the front of the Ducati Panigale V4R bike – it griped again and smashed in a obtuse angle into the barrier. The bike was so badly damaged on the front, making a repairing at the Estoril circuit impossible.

That was more than a pity as the trio of Louis Rossi, Sylvain Barrier and the team’s returnee Mathieu Gines had done a great job during the practices and qualifyings, working on a strong race pace. Rossi took the start from seventh position and was supposed to bring the bike further to the front but it wasn’t to be. 

Now the focus turns on the new season 2021 which will see the resume to an annual season and not being held in two years as in the past seasons. There is no calendar confirmed yet as the promotors of Eurosport Events want to wait and see how the worldwide pandemic will evolve in the next weeks and months. 

However it is planned for 2021 to have the 24 hours of Le Mans and the 8 hours of Suzuka even without spectators once more if needed. There are also the 24 hours Bol d’Or at Le Castellet, the 8 hours of Germany at Oschersleben and a final race at the end of 2021 at Malaysia on the list. 

Louis Rossi:
“First of all I want to apologize to my team and team mates! It actually was just a small slide on the front but with a big impact. I lost the front without warning and when the bike griped again, it went to the inside of the track and hit the barrier. This is a shame as a it was very early in the race and b we had worked so well during the practices and were more than prepared for the race. We did work all days just for the race and never used a qualifying set up. What a shame, but unfortunately this is also part of Endurance racing.”

Mathieu Gines:
“It is a big shame as we had deserved more from this weekend but this is not meant to be blaming Louis as this could have had happened to anyone of us and this is also part of Endurance racing. I was riding the Ducati Panigale V4R EWC bike for the first time this week here in Estoril and this bike is a dream. Lap by lap I was improving during the practices and I like this bike a lot. The Qualifying went really well for me, it is just a pity we could not confirm our performances during the race.”

Uwe Reinhardt – Team Owner:
“At the end of last year at Malaysia we did start our work on the Ducati Panigale V4R and looking back we can be satisfied with the progress and the evolution of our project so far. At Le Mans and here at Estoril we had some bad luck and DNF’s, we encountered problems, that we have to analyse and solve during the winter. No question about it, we had some issues that were expected and some were unexpected. Of course, Louis’ crash right at the beginning was a bad hit for us as we had to retire not even half hour into the race. We had high hopes for the 12 hours of Portugal but unfortunately return home with empty hands – but such things can happen in Endurance racing all the time. We will collect ourselfes during the winter and for sure will work hard on the development of our EWC spec Ducati Panigale V4R during the winter, trying to implement everything we have learned so far. It will be a long brake, but I think the whole team is looking forward to Le Mans in April 2021 already.”

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