The winningest team in the FIM Endurance World Championship, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is the standard by which other endurance teams are measured…and that is a measuring stick that has seen a lot of use in recent seasons.
This is because the FIM EWC is a hot bed for competition right now, with a bevy of factory-backed teams capable of winning on any race weekend.
This has made it tough for SERT, and its riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson, and Gregg Black, who currently sit sixth in the 2018 FIM Endurance World Championship standings.
For this season, SERT hopes that a new racing platform will make the difference, as the French team has finally jumped onboard with the current-generation Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Last year, SERT was still using the old GSX-R1000, despite the superbike being replaced with a new model for consumers in 2017.
The organizers of the Barcelona Superprestigio indoor flat track event, to be held in Barcelona on 16th December, published the provisional entry lists on Thursday. The entries contain more than their fair share of talent, with eight world champions in different disciplines lining up on the grid.
Arguably the biggest name from the road racing scene is double Moto2 world champion, MotoGP Rookie of the Year, and best independent team rider Johann Zarco. The Frenchman is due to line up on the grid representing Yamaha.
His compatriot World Supersport champion Lucas Mahias will also be racing in the Superprestigio, as well as former Moto2 world champion and reigning MotoAmerica champion Toni Elias.
The Barcelona Superprestigio dirt track event returns for its fifth edition this December 16th.
But the indoor short track held at Palau Sant Jordi, south of the city center, will be without a couple of its big name riders this year, including the originator of the idea, Marc Marquez.
The Spaniard announced a few days ago on his Twitter account that he would not be racing in the event, citing the need for a rest after a long season. Just how much of it was his own decision, and how much the result of pressure from Honda, is unknown.
HRC were known to be deeply unhappy about Marquez racing in an event which is fraught with the risk of injury, but were unable to stop him.