Marvin Fritz, Karel Hanika to wild-card at Most WorldSBK with Yamaha

The Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) will hit the grid at this weekend's Most WorldSBK round with debutant Marvin Fritz and local star Karel Hanika

Yamaha Austria Racing Team, YART, EWC

Yamaha has bolstered its ranks for this weekend’s sixth round of the 2021 WorldSBK Championship at Most with addition of the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART), which will enter with riders Marvin Fritz and local racer Karel Hanika.

YART represents Yamaha as its factory-backed entry in the Endurance World Championship but the Austrian outfit will swap the EWC for WorldSBK as the series makes its first visit to the Most Autodrom in the Czech Republic.

On riding duties will be two of its regulars with Fritz and Hanika - who share the EWC Yamaha with Niccolo Canepa and Michael Laverty - getting the nod to join the regulars from the official Pata Yamaha squad and sister GRT team.

A Red Bull Rookies Champion in 2013, this will be Hanika’s second appearance in WorldSBK having participated in a one-off outing on the Guandalini Yamaha in 2018, the Czech racer - who holds the lap record at Most - scoring points in both races at Laguna Seca.

“I’m very happy to get this opportunity to be joining the WorldSBK grid as a wildcard with the YART Yamaha team. Thanks to everyone who’s been behind this, especially Mandy and Yamaha. Most is a track where I’ve had the lap record for around two years, it’s a difficult circuit for sure but it has a nice flow. 

“You must be really hard on the brakes for the first corner, which I think is going to be important for all of the races. 

“The tarmac is overall good, but in the first sector it’s not too great. I believe it will suit our bike well, so I’m looking forward to the weekend and to racing at home in front of the Czech fans.”

Fritz, meanwhile, will be making a long-awaited first WorldSBK appearance having won the IDM Superbike Championship in 2016.

“I’m really looking forward to Most. It’s like a dream come true for me and my first time racing in the World Superbikes - I’ve raced Superstock before but never WorldSBK. I’m excited for the first free practice; I know the level of some of the riders from Suzuka, but it will be interesting to see the difference between the performance of the bikes. 

“I've ridden at Most, and I’ve also raced there in the IDM 125cc Championship back in 2007, but I’ve not done that many laps so we will see. The track is really nice, when you come out of the hairpin at the back there’s a good flowing section which is fun. 

“The first chicane is going to be one to watch, you have to brake hard to stop the bike and the asphalt there isn’t so great, which is a bit of a pity because the rest of the lap is a lot of fun. I’d like to say a big thanks to YART Yamaha and everybody for making this happen. I can’t wait to get going.”