Honda Musashi Harc Pro Wins Suzuka 8 Hours
Sunday, July 27, 2014

This just in from the fIM:

Another victory for the Honda Musashi Harc Pro at Suzuka

Yoshimura Suzuki and Team Kagayama on the podium

Musashi Harc Pro Team wins Suzuka 8 Hours for the second consecutive year. The Honda squad, who won with the same crew in 2013, Takumi Takahashi, Leon Haslam and Michael Van Der Mark also produced the two best laps. Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance Team finished second, less than a minute behind with Takuya Tsuda (who took the pole position), Josh Waters and Randy de Puniet. Team Kagayama Team completed the podium with Noriyuki Haga, Dominique Aergerter and Yukio Kagayama.

Monster Energy Yamaha YSP fails to make it on to the podium in the wake of Team Kagayama. Very incisive initially on a wet and tricky track, the Honda Racing with Moriwaki Toho wins fifth place ahead of two other CBR1000RR Honda Suzuka Racing Team, already placed in Top 10 Trial yesterday and Honda Team Asia.

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is the best permanent team with an eighth place finish. Anthony Delhalle, Erwan Nigon and Damian Cudlin have struggled all weekend with grip problems due to their tyres. SERT, who were forced to retire at the Bol d'Or, take their first points at Suzuka. A superb effort by the Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Team allows them to take ninth place, but this was not enough for David Checa, Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines to defeat SERT. However their result allows them to lead the standings of the FIM World Endurance Championship both for teams and riders.

In tenth position at Suzuka, the Monster Energy Yamaha YART Team also scores its first points of the season thanks to Wayne Maxwell, Rick Olson and Tommy Bridewell. A great challenger early in the race but later delayed by a crash, the Green Team took 12th place ahead of another Kawasaki squad, Bolliger Team Switzerland that consisted of Horst Saiger, Roman Stamm and Daniel Sutter. The Swiss team confirmed its third place in the standings ahead of the Musashi Harc Pro Team who made its entry into fourth position.

Other permanent teams who made the trip to Japan had mixed fortunes. The best placed of these from the start was the Honda Racing Endurance Team who ended up 33rd. This does not fully reveal the performance on the track of Sébastien Gimbert, Julien Da Costa and Freddy Foray, who were delayed mid race by an electrical problem. The victims of a crash in the race and finally deprived of Matthew Lagrive after a big crash in the warm-up, Team R2CL finished 19th with Gwen Giabbani and Gareth Jones.

On course to finish in the top 20 in their first appearance at Suzuka, Team Motors Events April Moto was interrupted by an issue with a water hose. Greegory Fastree Michael Savary and Jimmy Storrar eventually finished 25th. The other two permanent teams present in Japan to make it to the finish were Motobox Kremer by Shell Advance in 31st position and Team Leader Team Flembbo in 41st.

The 37th edition of Suzuka 8 Hours was a mad dash punctuated by several downpours, many falls and twists. It began with the arrival of heavy rains just before the start with the resulting wet track causing a delay to the start of more than an hour. The F.C.C. TSR Honda Team quickly took command with Kosuke Akiyoshi. They stayed ahead for over 100 laps until Akiyoshi, managed to bring the bike home, despite having fractured his femur during a crash. The F.C.C. TSR Honda Team eventually finished in 40th position.

The end of the race was also difficult for Eva RT Trick Star Force Synergy Team. Sat in 7th position, Gregory Leblanc became a victim as his Kawasaki dropped traces of oil on the track. The Eva RT Trick Star Force Synergy Team finally finished 24th and thus out of the points, importantly for Gregory Leblanc who arrived at Suzuka at the head of the riders' standings.

Another favourite who fell foul of the conditions was the Legend of Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance Team #12 whose race was short-lived. Nobuatsu Aoki dropped a few minutes after he fell when he was fighting with Takuya Tsuda aboard the Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance #34. Qualified in 10th position, Suzuki #12 of Aoki, Satoshi Tsujimoto and Kevin Schwantz did not return to the track.

They said ...

Michael Van Der Mark, rider of the Musashi Harc-Pro Team
"The team did a great job and it's amazing to be on the top step of the podium this year."

Randy de Puniet, rider of the Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance
"It was not an easy race, but we all gave our best. It was my first time at Suzuka. It is a wonderful experience and I hope to be there next year."

Dominique Aerterger, rider of the Team Kagayama
"I am very happy to be a part of this edition, but Suzuka was very special because of the weather and the delayed start. Now I'll have to ask my team to have as much power as the Suzuki Kagayama when I return to Moto2. "

Yukio Kagayama, rider of the Team Kagayama
"It's important to see guys like Michael (Van Der Mark) or Dominique (Aerterger) on the podium of this race. This shows the interest of riders who are the future of MotoGP have for the Suzuka 8 Hours."


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