Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing World.com - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
SHARE:
Jul 26, 2015

Results from Sunday's Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8-Hours Round Of The FIM Endurance World Championship Series (Updated)

Yamaha Factory Racing Team's Katsuyuki Nakasuga (21).

Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours/FIM Endurance World Championship

Suzuka Circuit, Japan

July 26, 2015

Provisional Race Results:

1. Yamaha Factory Racing Team (Katsuyuki Nakasuga/Pol Espargaro/Bradley Smith), Yam YZF-R1, 204 laps

2. F.C.C. TSR Honda (Josh Hook/Kyle Smith/Dominique Aegerter), Hon CBR1000RR, 204 laps, -77.411 seconds

3. Team Kagayama (Yukio Kagayama/Noriyuki Haga/Ryuichi Kiyonari), Suz GSX-R1000, 203 laps

4. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe/Anthony Delhalle/Etienne Masson), Suz GSX-R1000, 202 laps

5. Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance (Takuya Tsuda/Josh Waters/Alex Lowes), Suz GSX-R1000, 201 laps

6. GMT94 Yamaha (David Checa/Kenny Foray/Mathieu Gines), Yam YZF-R1, 201 laps, -8.158 seconds

7. Honda Endurance Racing (Julien Da Costa/Sebastien Gimbert/Freddy Foray), Hon CBR1000RR, 201 laps, -76.811 seconds

8. Honda Suzuka Racing Team (Daijiro Hiura/Yudai Kamei/Takashi Yasuda), Hon CBR1000RR, 200 laps

9. Team GREEN (Akira Yanagawa/Haji Ahmad Yudhistira/Kazuki Watanabe), Kaw ZX-10R, 199 laps

10. MotoMap Supply (Yoshihiro Konno/Nobuatsu Aoki/Hideyuki Ogata), Suz GSX-R1000, 199 laps, -12.980 seconds

11. EVA RT Test Type-01 Trick Star (Osamu Deguichi/Hitoyasu Izutsu/Erwan Nigon), Kaw ZX-10R, 199 laps, -22.790 seconds

12. Team Bolliger Switzerland (Roman Stamm/Daniel Sutter/Nicolaus Salchaud), Kaw ZX-10R, 199 laps, -72.833

13. Au&Tetoru Kohara RT (Kazuma Watanabe/Testuta Nagashima/Kosuke Akiyoshi), Hon CBR1000RR, 198 laps

14. TOHO Racing with Moriwaki (Ratthapark Wilairot/Toni Elias/Tatsuya Yamaguichi), Hon CBR1000RR, 198 laps, -57.391 seconds

15. CONFIA Flex Motorrad 39 (Shinya Takeishi/Takatoshi Ohnishi/Daisaku Sakai), BMW S1000RR, 197 laps


18. Satu HATI Honda Team Asia (Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman/Dimas Ekky Pratama/Ratthapong Wilairot), Hon CBR1000RR, 195 laps


48. Honda Dream RT Sakurai Honda (Troy Herfoss/Jason O’Halloran/Naomichi Uramoto), Hon CBR1000RR, 157 laps


64. Team SRC Kawasaki (Gregory Leblanc/Matthieu Lagrive/Fabien Foret), Kaw ZX-10R, 102 laps

65. BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com (Markus Reiterberger/Tommy Bridewell/Bastien Mackels), BMW S1000RR, 75 laps


68. MuSASHI RT HARC-PRO (Takumi Takahashi/Michael van der Mark/Casey Stoner), Hon CBR1000RR, 31 laps

69. Monster Energy Yamaha – YART (Broc Parkes/Ivan Silva/Sheridan Morais), Yam YZF-R1), 10 laps



More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Motor Racing:

Yamaha Factory Racing Reigns at Suzuka

Suzuka (Japan), 26th July 2015

Round 2 of the 2015 FIM Endurance World Championship

The 38th “Coca-Cola Zero” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race

The Yamaha Factory Racing Team went above and beyond all expectations today at the Suzuka Circuit, riding the new YZF-R1 to a phenomenal victory at the 38th “Coca-Cola Zero” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race.

Riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith gave an outstanding performance in the hottest and most challenging conditions of the weekend. It was the trio‘s unbreakable determination, team spirit and the stunning performance of the YZF-R1 that saw them overcome all obstacles and win Yamaha its first victory in this event in 19 years and its fifth in the race's history.

Losing a couple of positions from pole, first rider Nakasuga was quick to carve his way to the front as he chased down the race leaders. By lap three he had climbed up to sixth and kept the pressure on. He made his move as one by one the competitors went into the pits, showing the incredible potential of the YZF-R1 when he dropped a stunning 2‘08.496s on his sixth lap, the fastest lap time of the race. Nakasuga was scheduled to come in after 25 laps but completed an extra two before heading in as the race leader and handing the YZF-R1 to Smith.

The British rider re-entered in third position, but soon moved up when the race leader crashed out of the race. Smith then had to deal with two separate safety car stints before finally taking the front a little more than two hours into the race.

It was then Espargarò‘s turn to take the YZF-R1 for a spin. The Spaniard had been consistently fast all weekend and didn‘t disappoint today. He and Nakasuga created a comfortable margin before it was time for Smith to ride again.

He was only able to complete a few laps before being called in for a 30 second ’Stop and Go‘ penalty for Espargaró having passed under a yellow flag.

The penalty cost them a position but it wasn't long before Smith was back in first place and building a healthy gap before handing the bike over to Espargaró for a second time.

He and Nakasuga gave their all in their final riding stints before handing over to Smith for the last leg. The Brit‘s final ride of the race was far from simple as a third safety car caused some last-minute tension. Smith was again able to manage the situation perfectly and rode his factory Yamaha YZF-R1 through the last corner to the deafening sound of cheering from the many thousand race fans as he took the chequered flag with a 1'17.411s advantage.

Reigning Endurance World Champions GMT94 Yamaha proved today that their strategy of focusing on the race set-up during qualifying had been the right one. Originally their first rider David Checa, decided to let Kenny Foray fill in for him at the start as he had only recently recovered from a knee injury. Foray was quick to adapt to the choatic first lap and started to make his way to the front.

He and teammates Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines showed how effective a strong team can be as they battled the entire eight hours to ride from 20th to fourth.

It was a disappointing day for the Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART). Having qualified 11th on the grid Broc Parkes had a good start and was quick to move up the order. He had a strong and consistent pace of 2‘11.0 but his challenge came to a premature end when a technical issue made it improssible for the team to continue.

Besides the success of the Factory team, team R1 & YAMALUBE also gave Yamaha fans reasons to cheer. They crossed the finish line in 21st position, thereby coming out victorious the Superstock class.

QUOTES

Katsuyuki Nakasuga

“As a team we started the race today with a set number of laps per rider and it was a lot of pressure for me to start the race but my first goal was that I had to finish this race. I‘ve had times when I ended the race prematurely. I want to thank all the staff, the team and all the fans for their support. I‘m really glad that we have won after nineteen years.”

Pol Espargarò

“I‘m so happy. It was an unbelievable race. I have to say sorry to my teammates because I made a mistake during the race. We had a stop and go penalty and we lost more than one minute. My teammates were impressive, they were so fast. I gave 200% when I went out on the bike to recover this gap that we lost and we did. It‘s impressive what Yamaha as a factory team and a family did after so many years and I‘m proud of Nakasuga-san that he rode out the first Suzuka8hours with us and also of Bradley, that we share a pit box in MotoGP. Normally we have many activities and we don‘t get to speak often as friends. This weekend was so good for us. I‘m happy because I found two great friends, and we got the 8 hours Suzuka race victory.”

Bradley Smith

“Since Tuesday night I went back to my hotel room and felt loaded up with pressure. We stood in front of all the Yamaha staff and mister Kimura and everyone who works inside the factory. We stood on the stage in Iwata and promised that we would come back and give our best and we promised them a first place and we definitely to potentially fail, but we had a great bike and teammates. We had only one small mistake during the race, which in the end was no problem at all. With the speed and the pace that my teammates were able to do, we were able to overcome it. It‘s very special, the 60th anniversary for Yamaha, they are leading the MotoGP championship, but second to that was a focus to on the Suzuka8H and I‘m glad that we were able to show the true potential of this bike and give them that victory after 19 years that they very well deserve.”

Wataru Yoshikawa

Team Manager

“First, I just want to thank everyone involved and all of the fans who cheered us on. I have to say that I was really impressed by the high level of the MotoGP riders, and also I found myself full of admiration once again for Nakasuga‘s skills. Pol and Bradley had never ridden at Suzuka before our pre-race test sessions, and they had never ridden on an Endurance spec machine. But, in no time at all, they were running very fast lap times here, one after another. Also, in today‘s race we were surprised to see the impeccable skill with which Nakasuga handled the bike in the first stint and extend it all the way to the 28th lap. That made things easier for us as a team from that point onward. The way the characters of the three riders came together so well made this a wonderful team, and the team staff did their best the whole time to back up the riders. During the race weekend there were accidents like Pol‘s crash, and then in the race there was his penalty, so there were difficulties along the way but we still managed to win. This was a victory that the whole team won together, and once again I want to express my appreciation to al of the people who cheered us on.




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing:

Yamaha Factory Racing Reigns at Suzuka

The Yamaha Factory Racing Team went above and beyond all expectations today at the Suzuka Circuit, riding the new YZF-R1 to a phenomenal victory at the 38th "Coca-Cola Zero" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race.

Riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith gave an outstanding performance in the hottest and most challenging conditions of the weekend. It was the trio's unbreakable determination, team spirit and the stunning performance of the YZF-R1 that saw them overcome all obstacles and win Yamaha its first victory in this event in 19 years and its fifth in the race's history.

Losing a couple of positions from pole, first rider Nakasuga was quick to carve his way to the front as he chased down the race leaders. By lap three he had climbed up to sixth and kept the pressure on. He made his move as one by one the competitors went into the pits, showing the incredible potential of the YZF-R1 when he dropped a stunning 2'08.496s on his sixth lap, the fastest laptime of the race. Nakasuga was scheduled to come in after 25 laps but completed an extra two before heading in as the race leader and handing the YZF-R1 to Smith.

The British rider re-entered in third position, but soon moved up when the race leader crashed out of the race. Smith then had to deal with two separate safety car stints before finally taking the front a little more than two hours into the race.

It was then Espargarò's turn to take the YZF-R1 for a spin. The Spaniard had been consistently fast all weekend and didn't disappoint today. He and Nakasuga created a comfortable margin before it was time for Smith to ride again.

He was only able to complete a few laps before being called in for a 30 second 'Stop and Go' penalty for Espargaró having passed under a yellow flag.

The penalty cost them a position but it wasn't long before Smith was back in first place and building a healthy gap before handing the bike over to Espargaró for a second time.

He and Nakasuga gave their all in their final riding stints before handing over to Smith for the last leg. The Brit's final ride of the race was far from simple as a third safety car caused some last-minute tension. Smith was again able to manage the situation perfectly and rode his factory Yamaha YZF-R1 through the last corner to the deafening sound of cheering from the many thousand race fans as he took the chequered flag with a 1'17.411s advantage.

Reigning Endurance World Champions GMT94 Yamaha proved today that their strategy of focussing on the race set-up during qualifying had been the right one. Originally their first rider David Checa, decided to let Kenny Foray fill in for him at the start as he had only recently recovered from a knee injury. Foray was quick to adapt to the choatic first lap and started to make his way to the front.

He and teammates Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines showed how effective a strong team can be as they battled the entire eight hours to ride from 20th to fourth.

It was a disappointing day for the Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART). Having qualified 11th on the grid Broc Parkes had a good start and was quick to move up the order. He had a strong and consistent pace of 2'11.0 but his challenge came to a premature end when a technical issue made it improssible for the team to continue.

Besides the success of the Factory team, team R1 & YAMALUBE also gave Yamaha fans reasons to cheer. They crossed the finish line in 21st position, thereby coming out victorious the Superstock class.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga - Yamaha Factory Racing Team rider

"As a team we started the race today with a set number of laps per rider and it was a lot of pressure for me to start the race but my first goal was that I had to finish this race. I've had times when I ended the race prematurely. I want to thank all the staff, the team and all the fans for their support. I'm really glad that we have won after nineteen years."

Pol Espargaró - Yamaha Factory Racing Team rider

"I'm so happy. It was an unbelievable race. I have to say sorry to my teammates because I made a mistake during the race. We had a stop and go penalty and we lost more than one minute. My teammates were impressive, they were so fast. I gave 200% when I went out on the bike to recover this gap that we lost and we did. It's impressive what Yamaha as a factory team and a family did after so many years and I'm proud of Nakasuga-san that he rode our the first Suzuka8hours with us and also of Bradley, that we share a pit box in MotoGP. Normally we have many activities and we don't get to speak often as friends. This weekend was so good for us. I'm happy because I found two great friends, and we got the 8 hours Suzuka race victory."

Bradley Smith - Yamaha Factory Racing Team rider

"Since Tuesday night I went back to my hotel room and felt loaded up with pressure . We stood in front of all the Yamaha staff and mister Kimura and everyone who works inside the factory. We stood on the stage in Iwata and promised that we would come back and give our best and we promised them a first place and we definitely to potentially fail, but we had a great bike and teammates. We had only one small mistake during the race, which in the end was no problem at all. With the speed and the pace that my teammates were able to do, we were able to overcome it. It's very special, the 60th anniversary for Yamaha, they are leading the MotoGP championship, but second to that was a focus to on the Suzuka8H and I'm glad that we were able to show the true potential of this bike and give them that victory after 19 years that they very well deserve."

Wataru Yoshikawa - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Team Manager

"First, I just want to thank everyone involved and all of the fans who cheered us on. I have to say that I was really impressed by the [high] level of the MotoGP riders, and also I found myself full of admiration once again for Nakasuga's skills. Pol and Bradley [Smith] had never ridden at Suzuka before our pre-race test sessions, and they had never ridden on an Endurance spec machine. But, in no time at all, they were running very fast lap times here, one after another. Also, in today's race we were surprised to see the impeccable skill with which Nakasuga handled the bike in the first stint and extend it all the way to the 28th lap. That made things easier for us as a team from that point onward. The way the characters of the three riders came together so well made this a wonderful team, and the team staff (crew) did their best the whole time to back up the riders. During the race weekend there were accidents like Pol [Espargaro]'s crash, and then in the race there was his penalty, so there were difficulties along the way but we still managed to win. This was a victory that the whole team won together, and once again I want to express my appreciation to al of the people who cheered us on."

David Checa – GMT94 Yamaha rider

"At the beginning of the race we had a problem with the tyre. During the week we rode with another tyre that was much better, but Dunlop had a problem and brought three wrong tyres of this series, so we rode the race on a different one. I tested this tyre in the test and I wasn't very happy, because when it was hot there was a lot of movement with my riding style. When it was colder it worked well, but today it was very hot, so I took my rhythm down a little, else I lost the front everywhere. When the temperature dropped a little I pushed and pushed. We were supposed to finish fourth or fifth, but there were three safety cars and we lost two minutes and that meant we finished sixth. Sometimes endurance is a lucky sport for you and sometimes it's not. We had a podium here three years ago and we were really lucky when it came to safety cars and crashes, this times the others were lucky. There are still two more races and we want to win, like here. We are now second in the championship and we will try to beat our rivals. They may have started strong, but they too can have bad luck and we will try to push every time."

Christophe Guyot - GMT94 Yamaha Team Manager

"Normally when you are sixth at Suzuka you can be happy, but in this case, if I'm honest, I'm a little disappointed because we had to refuel three time under the safety car, this has never been known in my 20 year career in endurance. The last safety car was a nightmare, because we were sitting in fourth place 50 seconds in front of #12 and 28 seconds behind #30, fighting for first place in the overall rankings and when the safety car came we lost it and finish sixth in the race. Regarding the riders, their performance was very good and they gave everything. The bike was also very fast. I'm so incredibly happy for Yamaha for this victory after 19 years, that's the most positive thing that came out of today. We will see what we can do at the next race. We are now second in the World Championship, so we will continue to fight."

Broc Parkes – Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) rider

"I was happy with my pace and I showed good speed in qualifying and at the start of the race. I felt good on the bike, it was better than I expected, because even after some laps the tyres were still good and the grip was there. My lap times were consistent and we had a good start. I think we were up to eighth when we had a technical issue. It's a bit frustrating, because I think we could have been in the top five, looking at the results now. That could have been good for the championship. I believe Yamaha was satisfied with the performance we gave before the DNF, because we were the first team on Pirelli tyres."

Mandy Kainz – Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) Team Manager

"The start of the race went quite well. Broc had a really good start and was able to follow the guys in front of him. We were able to have a very good pace so we were in the top eight at the beginning. We did all of this without taking any risks, but suddenly we encountered a technical issue and that resulted in a DNF. It's a shame, because when you look at the times we were riding, we are the best Pirelli team at the moment. We have kept our fingers crossed for the Factory team and the other Yamaha teams for success, because this is a very tough race. Oschersleben will in comparison be easier and we should be quite competitive there, but we don't know our rider line up yet. We will decide after the test."




More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com:

BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com retires from Suzuka 8 hours

Suzuka, Japan. Disappointing end to the Japan journey of the BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com: The German squad of former racer Rico Penzkofer had to retire from the 8 hours of Suzuka shortly before half time due to a technical problem and a crash.

After strong showings of the rider trio consisting of German Markus Reiterberger, Brit Tommy Bridewell and Belgian Bastien Mackels the team had high hopes on bringing home a good result. However the race got cut short after a problem with the fuel pump which was solved by changing the tank and a crash for Mackels shortly after that.

Bridewell took the start stint and paced the BMW S 1000 RR to a strong seventh before handing over to Reiterberger, who as well did a brilliant job. When Mackels took over for the team’s third stint, the problems started. After only a short amount of laps he had to come back in to the pits. When he went out on track again the BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com had dropped to the mid-twenties of the ranking.

It didn’t take long however as Mackels crashed after losing the front. The Belgian racer rode the Double R back to the pits where it was repaired in a short amount of time again. Mackels went on track again but the team then decided to retire from the 8 hours of Suzuka due to the big deficit on reaching the points scoring places. The team retired in 47th position.

Apart from that the first Suzuka adventure of the BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com can be considered as a successful one: Neither Reiterberger, nor Mackels had ridden at this special track before, also the team was new on the legendary Suzuka Circuit. During Qualifyings and Practice sessions Reiterberger, Bridewell and Mackels always played in the front of the permanent EWC field, qualifying in 14th only behind the best EWC team of YART.

This year’s 38th Suzuka 8 Hours edition has been one of the most competitive in history with current MotoGP™ rider Pol Espargaro taking a new lap record during the Superpole, Casey Stoner retiring from retirement and current World Championship stars such as Bradley Smith, Dominique Aegerter, Michael van der Mark and Kyle Smith taking part in the event.

The next race for the BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com will be the German Speedweek at Oschersleben, taking place from 20th to 23rd of August with the third round of the FIM Endurance World Championship and the 8 hours of Germany starting on Saturday, 22nd of August, at 12:00 o’clock.

Markus Reiterberger

Rider

"We were really strong in the first stint, Tommy did a amazing job there and we were circling around P7. Then I took over and had a nice fight with GMT, we were first of the European teams and P6 overall. After two safety cars I handed over to Basti, we filled the bike up but suddenly he had problems and returned to the pits. Just in front of the pit entry the bike cut out so he had to roll in neutral to the box. We changed the fuel tank and actually we’ve had lost everything by then already. Bastien went back out on track but lost the front which was bad for us again. We had dropped to 47th position and would have had to ride four seconds faster than anyone else to get to the point scoring positions so the team decided to stop the race. We are all mega disappointed as it had looked very good for us. I felt comfortable on the bike and we could have done a really good job here. I am sorry for the whole team as everyone was giving his best. You fly the long way down to Japan and then this. We are all disappointed.”

Bastien Mackels

Rider

"I don’t know what to say. I am really sorry about the crash. I never find the right way to be fast with the bike. I think in the race I also ride 2:11 and 2:12 like the other guys, but I lost the front and I got a problem with the fuel pump. It was two times at the start of my stint. I liked the track for sure, I would love to come back here. I am sorry for the team because I crashed the bike in the race."

Tommy Bridewell

Rider

"The weekend has been good, the pace was very strong and I am happy with the way I rode. I always ride with my heart and always give 110 per cent. To do the 2:09.3 with the Pirelli tire – I am very very happy with! With the race tire we could run on 2:10.0 but today is not a good day. This is disappointing, I’ve put a lot of effort in to arriving here, in preparation, and now the race is finish. I am happy with the stint I put in at the start, I arrived very high to P7 – which is much stronger than the expectation of everyone I think. But this is racing for you. A long flight home now and I am now getting ready for the British Superbikes again."

Rico Penzkofer

Team Principal

"Bastien rode the third stint but had to come back to the pits after three laps as the bike was cutting out. We found out very quickly that we had a problem with the fuel tank so we changed it. We didn’t lose too much time there, that was still ok for a eighter. Bastien went on track again but unfortunately crashed and we had a longer repair stop at the pits again. We went back out another time but dropped to 47th in the order. Only the first 20 get points here and that wasn’t reachable for us anymore. The next race is Oschersleben. When we get the bikes back from Japan we only have got two weeks to get everything sorted and ready for that race, so we now focus on that an the preparation of Oschersleben, packing things here and stop. There is nothing to reach for us for the Championship so we re-focus on the next race. I am disappointed for the riders and for the whole team, it was a long journey but that’s the Endurance. We are not the only once to have retired early here, that's part of racing.”

“Until then the weekend had been more than good, even with that small crash in the practice sessions, but you’ve got almost no one here this year, who did not have such a problem during on of the sessions. Its been running all according to plan and even better, we’ve been second of the permanent teams of the Endurance World Championship on the grid. But yeah, as a racer you always can have a crash, that’s it. We try to give it all at the pits and the riders give their all on track and that is what can happen. But we’ve shown what we are capable of and now we can’t wait for Oschersleben"




More, from a press release issued by Honda Endurance Racing:

Seventh place finish for Honda Endurance Racing at Suzuka

The Honda Endurance Racing team finished the Suzuka 8 Hours this evening in the top-ten, after placing the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP seventh at the 5.821km Honda-owned Suzuka circuit.

After completing 201-laps and after eight hours of racing in extreme temperatures, Honda’s Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert crossed finish line the seventh with a three-lap gap and were one of three permanent EWC teams to finish in the top-ten.

The race got underway at 11:30am (GMT+9) on Sunday with Gimbert, starting the race from 20th position. A good start saw the Honda squad quickly move into the top-15.

Honda’s endurance specialists Da Costa, Foray and Gimbert pushed hard and made up positions throughout the eight hours and at the halfway point of the race the team were in 11th position.

Due to incidents on track the safety car was brought out on numerous occasions during the race and Honda’s riders pushed continuously to make up places and eventually crossed the line seventh, collecting 14 valuable points towards the championship.

The next Endurance World Championship round is the Oschersleben 8 Hours, which takes place on 22 July, in Germany.

For all the latest news on the team in real time follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.

Neil Tuxworth

To finish Suzuka in the top-ten is good news and it’s positive for all the riders and the team. I feel we could have been a little stronger than we were, but due to circumstances we weren’t in control of with the safety car deployments, to finish seventh is very positive. We will now look forward to the next round in Germany.

Steven Casaer

The race was good for us, the CBR worked well in the extreme conditions and the riders pushed hard throughout the race so that was all positive. Unfortunately we did lose a bit of time during the safety car outings and without them we could have pushed for a higher placing - it’s a pity for the championship but we are happy that we finished the race in seventh position. The crew produced good and quick pitstops, probably the best we have ever had during a race, and so we didn’t lose too much there.

Julien Da Costa

To finish the race seventh after starting from 20th position on the grid is very satisfactory. We were all really happy with the Fireblade and our fuel consumption was better than our competitors. We fought for the top-five at some stages of the race so this is something positive from a performance point of view and something to take to the next EWC round.

Freddy Foray

We were aiming at a top-ten finish so I think the seventh position is a good result. We were quickly in the top-ten during the race and I think we could have done even better but the safety car was deployed several times during the race, and it made us lose opportunities to finish in the top-five. The team did a great job with pit stops and the bike had excellent fuel consumption, it was a perfect team job today. It is a shame that we could not manage to get the place of first permanent team but all in all it’s very positive!

Sébastien Gimbert

Today is a positive result for the team, we have come from a 24-hour race to an 8-hour race within two weeks and both are very physically demanding. The conditions in Suzuka are extreme and we all managed to deal with the heat very well. It’s a shame that we weren’t able to push for a higher placing due the safety car outings, but that’s racing and we’re happy to be in the top-ten in seventh place. Now we have a lot of important data and information that will be useful to get ready for Oschersleben - Suzuka is over but we still have to work ahead of the next race to continue to improve on our performance.




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone

Yamaha Factory Racing Team make history with emphatic Suzuka 8 Hours victory

38th Suzuka 8 Hours: 2015 FIM Endurance World Championship, Round Two

Suzuka Circuit, Japan.

Sunday, July 26 2015

Weather: Dry. Ambient 32-35°C; Track 38-61°C (Bridgestone measurement)

In their sixtieth anniversary year, Yamaha Motor Corporation claimed a historic Suzuka 8 Hours win as the Yamaha Factory Racing Team of Pol Espargaro, Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Bradley Smith rode their YZF-R1 to victory, also giving Bridgestone its tenth consecutive victory as a tyre supplier at the ‘8Tai’.

The race took place in fully dry conditions with no rainy periods, but a number of incidents resulted in a total of six Safety Car phases; an unusually high number for the Suzuka 8 Hours. As a result, only a total of 204 laps were completed by the teams on the leading lap, even though the pace throughout this year’s race was exceptionally fast. The quickest lap of the race, a 2’08.496 was set by Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Nakasuga on lap 6.

Finishing in second place at the 2015 Suzuka 8 Hours was F.C.C. TSR Honda who utilised just two of their three riders – Josh Hook and Dominique Aegerter – during the race and were the only other team to finish on the same lap as the race winners. As well as being fitted to the top two teams at this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours, a total of six out of the top ten teams in the race were equipped with Bridgestone tyres.

The consistently sunny conditions and high ambient temperature resulted in track temperatures reaching a scorching 61°C three hours into the race, before dropping to 38°C at the end of the eight hour contest. To ensure the riders could manage this large variance in track temperature with no loss of performance, Bridgestone developed a range of compounds using its MotoGP experience for the riders at this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours.

Syu Ishibashi – Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Responsible for Group Global Marketing

Strategy, Bridgestone Corporation

“I would like to congratulate the Yamaha Factory Racing Team on their impressive victory at this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours, the first for Yamaha in nineteen years. Well done also to team R1 & Yamalube who won the Superstock class using our BATTLAX production tyres. Today we witnessed a great race which once again attracted a dedicated audience of fans despite the harsh weather. I am really glad that we could contribute to the winning team’s victory by supplying Bridgestone tyres with excellent performance in what were extreme conditions. Our tenth successive win as a tyre supplier at the Suzuka 8 Hours is a great source of honour for me. Finally, we would like to keep supporting this splendid race event and extend our record for consecutive victories.”

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

“Congratulations to Yamaha on their first 8Tai victory in nineteen years! Everyone in the Yamaha Factory Racing Team worked very hard to achieve their goal and Bridgestone is proud to have supported them in this venture. This is a very challenging event and the team managed their tyre allocation very well. Bradley, Katsuyuki and Pol have a lot of experience with Bridgestone tyres and although the tyres we develop for the Suzuka 8 Hours are unique, they share the same excellent grip and consistency as our other race tyres and I believe this helped them extract maximum performance from their R1 throughout the whole race. Congratulations also to F.C.C. TSR Honda on their impressive second place. The race was run in extreme conditions and due to the numerous safety car periods, both of our teams on the podium utilised different strategies during the race. However, despite these challenges the strong and consistent performance of our tyres meant they could achieve excellent results.”

Wataru Yoshikawa – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager – Race Winner

“I am very happy to have achieved Yamaha’s first Suzuka 8 Hours win in nineteen years and on behalf of the team, staff and riders I’d like to thanks Bridgestone for supporting us in this victory. This result is attributed to the cooperation between our team and Bridgestone to set up the bike and race strategy so that the tyre’s performance could be fully utilised. Once again, I am pleased to share this win with Bridgestone and hope we can continue to work together in future.”




More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing Corporation (HRC):

Disappointment for MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO in Suzuka 8 hour as Stoner crashes out

After two consecutive Suzuka 8 hour victories in 2013 and 2014, the number 634 bike of team MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO began this year’s race from third spot on the grid, but was unable to covert this to win number three.

Takumi Takahashi (Japan, 24 years old) was the first rider on track and was involved in an exciting battle in the top group. After 24 laps, he entered the pits in 2nd position and two-time MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner (Australia, 29 years old) took over the reigns. Stoner worked his way up to 1st position on his first lap after the switch, but unfortunately he crashed out at the Suzuka Hairpin and the race was over for the MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO team.

Casey was taken to the medical centre where it was confirmed he had broken his right scapula (shoulder blade) and fractured his left ankle.

The team had to wait until the end of the race for the bike to be returned so they could exam what caused the accident. Together with HRC staff, the team checked the machine, and confirmed from the data that the throttle was 26 degrees open before the crash. It wasn’t clear why this happened and now the bike will be sent to HRC for a full inspection. HRC will communicate the findings to the media when there is more news.

Shigeki Honda, Team Manager

“Casey Stoner encouraged the whole team during this week at the Suzuka 8 hour endurance race, especially in the Top 10 trial. He demonstrated aggressive riding to climb to 1st early in the race, but sadly he crashed out. As a result, we missed out on an opportunity for three consecutive victories, but this is the Suzuka 8 hours where anything can happen. I express my appreciation to all our fans and we wish Casey a speedy recovery. We’ll be back next year!”

Casey Stoner

“I am really disappointed that the Suzuka 8 hours has ended like this. We have done a lot of work over the last few weeks to get accustomed to the bike and the track and work towards a setting that made all of us quite comfortable. We really felt that the race and everything had gone as we planned so far, we were very relaxed and comfortable and making sure we saved the tyres and the fuel to stretch the stint as long as we could. Unfortunately, we experienced some mechanical trouble as I was going through the corner leading up to the hairpin. I did not have enough time to engage the clutch and I came in with too much speed, I picked the bike up to try to slow down more but I was heading towards the wall so I decided to lay it over and hit the barrier but unfortunately, they were a lot harder than they looked and we came out of it with a broken bone in the ankle and broken scapular. I want to say thanks to my team mates Michael van der Mark and Takumi Takahashi, – they have done a fantastic job over these weeks and this weekend especially. And I would also like to thank the team for how much effort everybody has put in. Their professionalism was outstanding and I really enjoyed working with them. I am very sorry that we could not achieve the strong result I believe we could have.”

Takumi Takahashi

“We didn’t have the best feeling throughout the race week and entered the race with some setup issues. In my stint, I still had some setup problems and I was forced to hold back slightly. I wanted to be in the front at the end of my stint but could not do this as there were too much risk of crashing. I am sorry for Casey. I still have the last half of the All Japan road race series remaining and I now look forward to next year’s Suzuka 8 hour race.”

Michael van der Mark

“Today was a disappointing race. I think we had a strong pace compared to the other teams and a good result was definitely possible, but these things happen in racing. Casey was really unlucky with the crash. I hope he will be in fit soon.”



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

TEAM KAGAYAMA SUZUKI PODIUMS AT SUZUKA 8 HOURS

Team KAGAYAMA Suzuki riders Noriyuki Haga, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Yukio Kagayama raced their GSX-R1000 into third place at the prestigious 38th ‘Coca-Cola Zero’ Suzuka 8 Hours World Endurance Championship second round at Suzuka Circuit in Japan today.

As Suzuki Motor Corporation celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the icons GSX-R Superbike with a strong presence at its home race, the Japanese team finished on 203 laps and just one-and-a-half minutes behind the winners after more than 1000km of racing; as a total of four Suzuki-supported teams filled the top-10 positions.

Fourteen-times World Endurance Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) extended its lead in the series to 29 points after bringing home fourth position (202 laps) with Yoshimura SUZUKI Shell Advance fifth (201 laps) and MotoMap Supply Suzuki 10th with 199 laps of the spectacular 5.821km circuit.

Team KAGAYAMA’S Kiyonari took an early lead from the start until Suzuka first-timer Alex Lowes moved ahead aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki. The British rider headed the 70-rider field until the fourth lap, lost it briefly, only to regain it for 25 laps until his first pit-in and rider change. Team-mate Takuya Tsuda was unfortunate to slip-off during his first stint, damaging the screen but he continued to claw back to second position by the 50th lap when he handed back to Lowes, and after the second of a total of six Safety Car incidents during the race.

Kagayama also suffered a small crash during his first stint but remounted, undamaged, and the team fought back-up to third position approaching the half-way stage.

SERT, who started from 18th on the grid, moved into fifth position with Vincent Philippe at the five-hour mark following a crash in Sunday morning warm-up, but claimed an extra position in the closing stages. At that five-hour mark, stage Yoshimura was running in seventh and MotoMap Supply Suzuki 10th; a position the Japanese team kept until the flag, whereas Yoshimura Suzuki fought back to claim a further two positions by the end of the race.

#30 SUZUKI ENDURANCE RACING TEAM

Vincent Philippe:

“It was a very hard race, we had a lot of problems here and did a lot of setting-adjustments before the race, but did not perfect it. However the result is good for the team and everyone.”

Anthony Delhalle:

“I am finally happy to get fourth place, but it was hard. We decided to race just two riders – Vincent and myself – and focussed on making no mistakes and managing the race.”

Etienne Masson:

“It was very good for us, especially for the championship, good for Suzuki, Dunlop and our team.”

#12 YOSHIMURA SUZUKI Shell ADVANCE

Alex Lowes:

“I really enjoyed Suzuka a lot but it was difficult race. We got a good start, had some problems, but the final result was good. Leading for the first hour was also a great experience.”

Takuya Tsuda:

“It was really good to have a battle with Casey Stoner. He was running faster but I could follow him. After that I had a small crash and then I was hit from behind and there was nothing I could do, so I am sorry for the trouble caused to the team.”

Josh Waters:

Again Suzuka was tough. Unfortunately we had a few problems, but that’s racing.”

#17 Team KAGAYAMA

Yukio Kagayama:

“It’s great to get a podium again for our team, sponsors and supporters. I promised Noriyuki and Ryuichi to provide a great bike with the potential to win, but couldn’t quite manage this; so feel sorry for both our great riders. I also had a small crash, so a little disappointed, although very proud of our riders and team.”

Noriyuki Haga:

“I am very happy with the podium result and Ryuichi really worked hard. He rode three stints and really appreciate his effort for our team, so would really like to thank him.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari:

“I am very happy with third place on the podium. On my final stint I rode very carefully and always checking pit signals. My team mates are very great experienced riders, so was sure we would get a good result. I had small slip-offs on Thursday and Friday, so apologies to our team for the extra work I caused.”

#32 Moto Map SUPPLY

Yoshihiro Konno:

“I’d like to thank my team mates, who are great riders, and I am very proud of today’s result for us. We will now concentrate on the All Japan Road Racing series after this.”

Nobuatsu Aoki:

It was really tough race today and we had some small issues where we could not push too hard. But I believe we did a good job and brought the machine home in 10th; so hopefully the data we acquired will help the MotoMap SUPPLY team in the future.

Hideyuki Ogata:

“I hoped to run faster but it was difficult with the high temperatures today, although after 5pm it cooled down and I was faster. I’m really happy with the race and I’d like to thank our sponsors and supporters.” 



More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Suzuka's learnings for Kawasaki teams

The Team Kawasaki SRC left its members and fans with great memories yet felt unfulfilled after its debut Suzuka 8 Hours. Settled into sixth place at mid-race, the team was forced to resign after a serious crash. The Team Green Japanese Kawasaki squad impressed many during practice and qualifying but had to settle for ninth ‘at the flag’.

The Team Kawasaki SRC came in Suzuka with respect for the event and knew that the Suzuka 8 Hours baptism of fire was not to be easy. After a first testing session in early July, some practice under wet conditions earlier this week and three crashes, the Gilles Stafler team confessed to lack of feedback for a dry race. Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Forêt secured a start in 15th place and managed to get into the right zone to score precious championship points. That was the main team's target and the strategy paid back as, at mid-race, the Team Kawasaki SRC was settling into a solid sixth place. Unfortunately Gregory Leblanc crashed which stopped this progression during their first Japanese appearance. The rider was fine but the bike was too damaged to get back on track. However, the Kawasaki team will learn a lesson and let the disappointment away, as they are already working for the next Endurance World Championship round in Germany.

The domestic Kawasaki Team Green squad rode Suzuka as a one off event but impressed many with their speed. The team consisting of Japanese stars Akira Yanagawa and Kazuki Watanabe plus talented Indonesian rider Haji Ahmed Yudhistira were super fast during practice. They headed the leaderboard after Friday’s qualifying and were second overall on the ‘vertical’ grid after Superpole. A problem on the sighting lap along with a crash cost the team a lot of time but they eventually ended ninth in a star packed field.

Gilles Stafler, Team Kawasaki SRC team manager

"We all knew how expensive scored point here in Suzuka would be, but when we wanted to ride the full World Championship, coming here is no question. I would have said ‘yes’ with both hands if anyone told me that we were in 6th position after 4 h 30 of the race! But with four serious crashes, three during the qualification and one during the race, we destroyed a lot of components and the conclusion is still not very positive, although we've learnt a lot. Suzuka is a fast and technical track. You can't come here to race without good set-up. We did not ride enough in the dry here and we know that we need a specific bike here at Suzuka. But for now we need to get over it and think about Oschersleben.

Fabien Foret, Team Kawasaki SRC rider

“I'm happy and thankful to Kawasaki for having lived through this first Suzuka experience. There is also disappointment. I knew we had to go through some hard times, but I was also positively surprised to see that we can have the proper pace".

Matthieu Lagrive, Team Kawasaki SRC rider

"We knew our weak points and we paid for it all week long. We started the race trying to keep a safety margin because we wanted to reach the end, but that was not enough".

Gregory Leblanc, Team Kawasaki SRC rider

“I do not understand why I crashed. That was the end of my shift, I still had five laps to ride, I was not pushing too hard and, suddenly, I lost the front. The frame and the fork were wrecked. The bike was too damaged to get back on track".

The next round for the FIM EWC Championship in Germany is on 22nd of August for the 8 Hours of Oschersleben.

Top 5 This Week