Suzuka 8h: A win for Honda with Takahashi/Haslam/V.D.Mark (+video)
The Suzuka 8 hours race is probably the toughest endurance race for the World Championship. The people in Japan take this race very seriously.
Honda had two teams involved to the race, the FCC TSR Honda with Jonathan Rea & Ruishi Kiyonari was the favorite. They started very convincingly although they were out of the race two hours later. The Musashi RT Harc-Pro team with Takumi Takahashi, Leon Haslam & Mickey Van Der Mark took the lead finishing first on wet conditions by then, which made the teams switch to rain tyres at the latest half hour of the race. ItĘs the 8th consecutive win for Bridgestone on this tremendous race!
The Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team with Tsuda/Aoki/Brookes finished second, ahead of another Suzuki GSX-R1000 team, making history. That was Kevin Schwantz riding with ’ukio Kagayama & Norick Haga. This was 25 years after KevinĘs first success at the specific track and 20 years after his GP 500 World Championship! The sum of the ages of the three riders is 116 years, the greatest from the 63 teams taking part! The Team Kagayama was third for the greatest part of the race ahead from the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team with the riders Philippe/Delhalle/Da Costa, which grabbed the third place for a while when the team of the “oldies” changed first to rain tyres during the latest half hour of the race.
The heavy rain made all the teams to enter the pits for a tyre change, thus the 49 y.o. Schwantz got another podium in a World Championship race! ThatĘs a great achievement, well done Kevin!