De Puniet and Hernandez join regular Gimbert in factory team.
Honda Endurance Racing has signed former MotoGP contender Randy de Puniet for the remainder of the 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) in a new-look line-up where he’ll join Yonny Hernandez alongside regular Sebastien Gimbert aboard the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
De Puniet has a strong history with Honda, for the LCR Honda team from 2008-2010 in MotoGP where he stood on the podium, and he helped F.C.C. TSR Honda France secure third place at the Suzuka 8 Hours (2016-2017). The 38-year-old has also finished on the EWC podium a further five times, and was the French 125cc Champion in 1998 and a race-winner in the 250cc class of MotoGP.
“I am very happy to return to Honda and ride in EWC for the rest of the 2019 season,” said de Puniet. “I have had past successes in the championship and I think with Honda, and Sébastien and Yonny we will be a very strong team indeed. I am looking forward to the first test and to get going with the Fireblade at Le Mans.”
Hernandez is no stranger to the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and the championship, having ridden for Honda Endurance Racing on two occasions, where he and the team finished third at the prestigious Bol d’Or 24-hour and the Suzuka 8 Hours. A rider of wide experience, he has raced at world level in MotoGP, Moto2 and WorldSBK.
Gimbert has played an integral part of the Honda team since joining in 2014. Working on the development of the Fireblade, he has helped secured a win and podiums, as well as taking the squad to their highest championship result in third place in the 2017-2018 season.
The opening round of the 2018-2019 EWC got underway last September with the Bol d’Or, and the Honda squad is looking ahead to the remaining four rounds where they will re-focus the strategy to challenge for the championship title. Round two is scheduled on 20-21 April for the 24 Heures Motos in France.