Endurance - Two legendary pillars of motorsport have come together to create a new factory team at the FIM EWC. The Japanese Yoshimura team and the French Suzuki Endurance Racing Team have teamed up to launch the new Yoshimura SERT Motul lineup with the aim of reclaiming the FIM EWC 2021 crown. A new Franco-Japanese alliance is established to boost the profile of the FIM World Endurance Championship and further raise the bar for all other competing teams. Yoshimura and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, both long-established teams with multiple victories and titles under their belt, have joined forces to create a new factory team, the Yoshimura SERT Motul. The Suzuki GSX-R1000R in the colors of the new Franco-Japanese squad will make its track debut in 2021, and the team has already set its sights on the world title.
Yoshimura is celebrating its 66th anniversary in 2020, while Suzuki Japan turned 100 this year. The Yoshimura Racing Team has four victories and several podiums in the Suzuka 8 Hours, while the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team has racked up World Endurance Championship victories and world titles over the past 40 years. The French team also recently claimed its 16th FIM EWC title.
A very promising new direction for a historic and people-centered partnership, Yoshimura has been a partner of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team for several years - a technical partnership that has grown stronger since Damien Saulnier took over the reins of SERT. Yoshimura's story is one of men driven by a passion for racing. Yohei Kato, nephew of company president Fujio Yoshimura, represents the third generation of the brand founded by 'Pop' Yoshimura.
Damien Saulnier, SERT's new team director as of this season, is a worthy successor to Dominique Méliand, founder and head of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team for four decades, as evidenced by the title that SERT won in the 12 Hours of Estoril in September. Yohei Kato and Damien Saulnier will take over from Yoshimura SERT Motul.
This agreement does not establish a partnership between the parties, but rather a substantial merger. Inevitably, the organization chart of the team also changes, now recognized as Yoshimura SERT Motul. Damien Saulnier, SERT Manager and successor to Dominique Meliand from August 2019, will assume the role of "operational" Team Manager on the competition circuits. Yohei Kato, Hideo “Pop” Yoshimura's grandson, will be the team manager, one step above Saulnier in the hierarchy. In essence, the (old) SERT will have operational management roles on the track, but all technical and commercial aspects will be the sole responsibility of Yoshimura. The choice of Bridgestone after twenty years of collaboration between SERT and Dunlop, as well as the choice of the drivers, attests to this.