EWC Take Five với Florian AltEWC Take Five với Florian Alt

  • 29/03/2024

Florian Alt will embark on his eighth season as a Viltaïs Racing rider in 2024 with a clear target to strive for in the FIM Endurance World Championship.

On each round of the EWC, Alt and his Honda-powered team-mates, Leandro MercadoSteven Odendaal and reserve rider James Westmoreland, will be hunting for the podium – and they’ve gone to great lengths over the winter to try to achieve their goal.

Having completed EWC 2023 by claiming a fine runner-up spot in the Bol d’Or and with a second-successive Independent Trophy title in the bag, Honda Viltaïs Racing will head to Le Mans next month for the season-opening 24 Heures Motos aiming high, as 27-year-old German ace Alt explains.

After such a strong finish to the 2023 EWC season, Viltaïs Racing’s first with Honda power, what can you and your team achieve in 2024?
“The clear target from the team is to achieve in every race a podium because we want to be in the top three at the end of the season. At Le Mans we have been really unlucky with some technical issues, which made us fall out of the podium. Now we really, really want to fight hard for the podium in Le Mans. Of course, at Bol d’Or we had the hat-trick, three years in a row, the third position, the victory and the second position last year so now we really want to be competitive at Le Mans.”

Has the team done enough during the winter to be competitive in the 24 Heures Motos?
“We really made a big team building and the focus on the team building was to know each other even better than before, especially mentally. We are really like a team, but really like a team. Each member of the team, the riders know each mechanic perfectly and the riders know the team manager, for example, perfectly. It was a really hard team building with a basketball team from Jeanne d’Arc Vichy-Clermont Métropole. For example we went 40 hours without food, running 30 kilometres, hiking, no sleep and altogether with the team so it was a really nice and tough team building which makes us coming closer together. The second thing we have is the new Honda, which we tested already and definitely the bike made a good step. We have been in Jerez and Cartagena and already we made a step for our second year with Honda. Last year the time to build the bike was really short when we jumped from Yamaha to Honda. Now the team had the time to work on the details during the winter and the details means to find every gram on the bike that we carry, everything that makes us riding more comfortably, so the small details is something the team worked hard on during the last winter.”

It’s your eighth season as a Viltaïs Racing rider. What’s the appeal of this team for you?
“Viltaïs is not only a team like I said already and it’s not only a family, it’s something different. It’s not just a racing team, it’s really about human beings. Everybody is equal, there’s not anybody higher than anybody else. There’s a lot of equality and people knowing each other. With Steven, Leandro and Westy we are like brothers and that makes a huge difference when you have to fight and find some energy in the moments of the race where you are already empty. That’s the biggest difference of Viltaïs and that’s why we are stronger, for that I am quite sure. The only point where we are not 100 per cent there yet is the performance. We have a little bit of lack of performance, like half a second per lap. But I think we closed the gap to the factory teams because we are still a private team. In all the other different parts of the racing, like pitstops, we are really on the top.”

You’ll have to overcome some seriously strong opposition to finish on the podium in each race. Just how strong is the competition in the EWC, would you say?
“Honestly the EWC is already now something really big. You will see there will be more and more good teams and more and more good riders, many world championship riders want to go to the EWC now. And the level is insane. I was in EWC since 2017 and since this day the competition is becoming on a level that is incredibly high.”

How good was it to complete 2023 as the Internationale Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft (IDM) title winner and will you return to defend your crown?
“Of course it was a really nice feeling especially after the weekend in Bol d’Or when we won the Manufacturers’ championship for Honda after TSR struggled in that race. To beat the BMW factory team in the last hour, to be really competitive, was something special that motivated me a lot for the last race in the IDM. When I won it for sure it was huge for me but also for Honda because they didn’t win in Germany since 13 years. Now with this victory I get more support from HRC in Japan and I will also bring some new information to the EWC and more time to test many things and that is really nice. I am on the same bike in both championships, but I am now not the hunter but the hunted one. I will race of course in IDM and give my best and defend the number one on the bike.”

The 47th edition of the 24 Heures Motos opens the 2024 FIM Endurance World Championship season from 18-21 April. Ticket information is available HERE.

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