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Jul 30, 2013

Even More From Last Weekend's Various Motorcycle Road Races

FIM Endurance World Championship/Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours: Musashi RT Harc-Pro Honda (634) in action at Suzuka.
Bridgestone extends record run with eighth successive Suzuka 8 hours victory

Round 2: 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship Series - Race
Suzuka, Japan Tuesday 30 July 2013

Weather: Dry-Wet. Ambient 30-34°C; Track 38-58°C (Bridgestone measurement)

MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda (Takumi Takahashi, Leon Haslam, Michael van der Mark) won the 36th edition of the Suzuka 8 hours Endurance Road Race to give Bridgestone its eighth successive victory at the historic race.

Bridgestone’s eighth consecutive Suzuka 8 hour success continues the Japanese tyre manufacturer’s record-breaking run at this event and as well as securing another victory this year, Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team’s second place ensured a 1-2 at the top of the podium for the world’s largest rubber goods manufacturer.

In typical fashion for the Suzuka 8hours, conditions for this year’s race weekend were very hot with ambient temperatures of up to 34°C recorded in Friday’s qualifying session. However, sudden rain just before the start of qualifying meant the format was changed to a forty minute top-ten shootout instead of the usual Superpole session. At the end of qualifying it was the MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA –YART team (Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Broc Parkes, Josh Waters) that seized pole position with a time of 2’06.812. Second on the grid and first of the Bridgestone-supported entries was Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team (Takuya Tsuda, Nobu Aoki, Josh Brookes) who qualified just 0.153 seconds behind the pole-sitters.

After the traditional ‘Le Mans’ style start, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Takuya Tsuda got a great getaway to lead into the first corner. In the first stint of the race, MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda’s Takuma Takahashi kept a strong and steady pace to assume the lead, while F.C.C. TSR Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari showed good speed to work his way up to second place in the first stint having started from fourth place. Tragedy struck the reigning winners during the third stint when Kiyonari had an incident in the Degner Curve and despite getting the bike back to the pits, the team had to retire. Drama also struck the Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team who had to endure a penalty for speeding in pit lane, while Brookes also had an incident during the fourth stint but managed to keep the bike running to keep his team’s hopes of a podium alive.

Fittingly the end of the race also ended in dramatic fashion as light rain fell during the last thirty minutes, slowing the pace considerably and resulting in the riders having to quickly decide to keep running on slick tyres or switch to wets. Some top riders changed to wet tyres during this time, but in the end, the leading MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda kept running on its Bridgestone slick tyres with Takahashi at the controls and crossed the finish line for a memorable victory. The Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team overcame its difficulties to finish a valiant second place ahead of fellow Suzuki outfit Team KAGAYAMA who rounded out the podium in third place.

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“I would like to congratulate MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO on their victory in what were difficult conditions, and would also like to say well done to the Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team who claimed second place despite an incident-packed race. Today’s race was quite tough for us due to the highly variable track conditions that featured track temperatures ranging from a high of 58°C to a low of 38°C and a dry track surface that turned wet due to late rain. Even through these changeable track conditions, the winning MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO team managed to win the race on just one specification of tyre, which proves that Bridgestone tyres are able to operate over a wide range of conditions and I am pleased that the teams we supported believe in this capability of our tyres. I am very proud that Bridgestone has supported the winning team at Suzuka for the last eight years.”

Shigeki Honda - MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda representative – Race Winner
“We are very happy to have won the race a second time following our first victory in 2010. On behalf of all our staff and riders I would like to say thank you to Bridgestone for their support; we believed in the performance of these tyres and used them to their full ability to help secure the win. I believe the performance of the tyres is the one of the reasons we got the victory today and we are very proud to share this title with Bridgestone.”

More, from a press release issued by Waznie Racing:

Szoke Finishes a Close Second at AMP

Brantford, ON, Canada - 0.036 was the difference between victory and defeat at Round #3 of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship 22 lap feature held at the 2.56km Atlantic Motorsports Park in Shubenacadie Nova Scotia, Canada.

Seven time Canadian Superbike Champion Jordan Szoke finished runner up after dominating Saturday Superpole. Szoke rode his BMW S1000RR around the snaky 11-turn circuit with a time of one minute, 7.370 seconds. Almost a full second quicker than his nearest rival. “The track is still really green after all this rain we’ve been having throughout the weekend.” says Szoke. “There isn’t very much rubber down, so considering the circumstances I am really happy with our results.”

Race day Sunday was a different story as Szoke found himself in third position off the start. “The bike is really hard to get off the line so I knew that we would have an issue.” says the defending champion. Szoke took the lead on lap 10 and maintained it until the second last leg where he was passed off the back straightway.

Szoke remained close for the final lap and got an exceptional drive out of the last corner to the finish. “We almost had it!” exclaims Szoke. “But hey, I of all people know you don’t win championships very often by winning every race. We got some good bonus points for pole and most laps lead so we’re not leaving empty handed. We are also finishing the season on two of my most favorite tracks so I am really excited about that.”

Jordan takes his 159 points to Round 4 & 5, which will be hosted August 9-11 at the newly improved Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville ON, Canada.

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