World Superbikes: GMT switch to World Superbikes
22 December 2007 07:30
After two season’s in World Supersport French-based Yamaha GMT94 team move up to the World Superbike championship in 2008 with David Checa and Sebastien Gimbert.
And following on from their win in this year’s Bol d'Or 24-hour race, the team will continue to enter the world's two most demanding endurance races the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Bol d¹Or 24 Hours.
The Guyot Motorcycling Team was founded in 1992 by Christophe Guyot - himself a former rider and passionate sportsman - with the aim of making motorcycle racing more accessible to the young people of France.
In 2003, the team linked up with Yamaha Motor France to become a more professional concern and has since gone from strength to strength, including becoming Endurance World Champion in 2004.
Now known as the Yamaha GMT94 team, the squad operates a strategy focused on two very different road race classes sprint racing and endurance racing.
For the move into World Superbikes GMT94 are continuing with the 2007 team line up of David Checa and Sebastien Gimbert.
David Checa, 27-years-old and the 2004 World Endurance Champion, has raced in World Supersport with the Yamaha GMT team for the past two seasons.
The younger brother of Carlos Checa, David's racing pedigree includes 250GP and European Supersport before he moved into Endurance racing in 2003.
In addition, that same year he was Pirelli's World Superbike control tyre tester and participated in a handful of World Superbike races.
This World Superbike experience will stand him in good stead for 2008 as he re-enters the WSB fray once more.
Sebastien Gimbert is also a long-time member of the Yamaha GMT94 Team, having first joined the team¹s Endurance effort in 2004, when he also became World Champion.
Like many Frenchmen the 30-year-old has specialised in the Endurance scene, having won the Bol d'Or with David Checa and the GMT94 team in 2007 as well winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2005. But to date he also has 45 World Superbike races under his belt.
Sebastien Gimbert achieved his best World Superbike result in 2004 when he scored two fourth position finishes at Magny-Cours. This success was enough to gain him a full-time World Superbike ride with Yamaha Motor France the following year, although a broken leg during the season prevented him from showing his full potential.
David Checa and Sebastien Gimbert will contest the Le Mans and Bol d'Or races once again in 2008, this time with British rider Steve Plater.
In 2007 the Yamaha GMT94 Team won the Bol d'Or for the first time in style with a five lap lead, after having already won as a team twice the Le Mans 24hrs and numerous other Endurance events.
Yamaha GMT94 will receive some support from Yamaha Motor Europe who recognise the importance of Endurance racing in France and the dream of team owner Guyot to grow steadily to become a future top contender in World Superbikes.
David Checa Profile
Date of Birth: 20/04/1980
Residence: Barcelona, Spain
2007: 12th, World Supersport Championship, 1st Bol d¹Or 24 Hours
2006: 11th, World Supersport Championship and 3rd, Le Mans 24 Hours
2005: 1st, Le Mans 24 Hours and 2nd, Bol d¹Or 24 Hours
2004: World Champion Endurance and 1st, Oschersleben 24 Hours and Zhuhaï 6 Hours rounds
2003: 3rd, World Champion Endurance
Sébastien Gimbert Profile
Date of Birth: 09/09/1977
Residence: Puy de Velay, France
2007: 20th, World Supersport Championship, 1st Bol d'Or 24 Hours
2006: 3rd, Le Mans 24 Hours and 19th, World Superbike Championship
2005: 1st, Le Mans 24 Hours
2004: World Champion Endurance
2003: 2nd, French Super-production Championship and 1st, Bol d'Or and Spa 24-hour races