SEPANG RACING TEAM ANNOUNCE 8 HOURS OF SEPANG TEAM
MotoGP racer Franco Morbidelli, Suzuka 8 Hour champion Michael van der Mark and Malaysian star Hafizh Syahrin join forces for inaugural endurance race.
Sepang Racing Team will field an all-star line-up for the first ever 8 Hours of Sepang round of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) on December 13-15, with MotoGP racer and former Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli, Suzuka 8 Hour multiple winner Michael van der Mark and local superstar Hafizh Syahrin joining forces on Yamaha YZF-R1 machinery to take on the team’s home race.
Competing for the first time in an endurance race, but with the backing of former Endurance World Champions Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART), the squad will be out for nothing less than glory at the first running of a world championship endurance battle under the brand-new state-of-the-art floodlights at the Sepang International Circuit.
Making his endurace debut, Franco Morbidelli’s record in the MotoGP World Championship with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT means there’s no doubting his speed. Already familiar with both the YZF-R1 bike and with the Sepang circuit, the Italian-Brazilian racer is excited to be able to try something new and to stay sharp during the MotoGP off-season.
Dutchman Michael van der Mark adds a huge wealth of experience to the team, not only as a Yamaha World Superbike race winner but also as one of the most successful racers in the history of the Suzuka 8 Hour. A four-time victor at one of motorsport’s most prestigious races, there’s no questioning his endurance know-how as he joins the squad.
Hafizh Syahrin is no stranger to the Sepang circuit either, hailing from Malaysia and a veteran of countless races in multiple classes at the track. Bringing some local knowledge and familiarity of riding in Sepang’s fierce heat and humidity, the move will also mark a change from his usual MotoGP machinery.
As well as hosting the FIM Endurance World Championship race, the event will also see the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) take place alongside it in a ground-breaking fusion of the worlds of two-and-four-wheel motorsport under the headline, Races of Malaysia. Collaborating with Tourism Malaysia as part of their Visit Truly Asia Malaysia 2020 campaign, both events will harness the hashtag #RoadToMalaysia to support the initiative.
Michael van der Mark: “When I first saw there would be an EWC round at Sepang in December I knew it would be cool to race it so I’m really proud that the team asked me – plus how can you say no to such a great team and race at their home track? Sepang is hot and humid and it will be really hard work – but that’s also the part of the challenge of endurance racing and I really enjoy it. I will do everything to help the team with the bit of endurance experience I have because we want to fight for the victory! We’ve got a really strong squad but we have to be smart and consistent, because for sure our goal will be to win the team’s home race!”