Yamaha makes it a hat-trick in Honda's back garden...
The Suzuka 8-Hour race may have lost a bit of its prestige in recent years, and the number of GP stars on the grid has dwindled, but to the Japanese manufacturers this is still one of the most important races on the calendar and winning means a lot - especially to Honda...
Honda owns the track; Yamaha owned the race
However sadly for the circuit owners, despite using the new Fireblade and enlisting MotoGP star Jack Miller to ride it in the factory-backed MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO team, it was Yamaha's Factory Racing team that took the honours for the third year running. With WSB stars Alex Lowes and Michael Van Der Mark teamed up with 8-Hour specialist Kat Nakasuga, the YZF-R1 took the lead in the opening hour and never looked in danger of relinquishing it despite tricky conditions. And to top off a fantastic weekend for Yamaha, their official World Endurance team GMT94 also took the world title from the Suzuki Endurance Racing team.
Finally, you have to hand it to Leon Haslam; despite still suffering from injuries sustained in BSB helped the Kawasaki Team Green finish a very creditable second place on the Ninja ZX-10R. Third place was taken by the F.C.C TSR Honda team.
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I have read that this race was epic back in the late 80's to early 90's. The factory's would pour money into (more or less) one off specials created to win the race. All the 500cc boys were drafted in to race it. I actually remember Honda would not give Colin Edwards the trick bits for his Sp2 in 2002 WSB until they had used them on the Suzuka 8hrs bike. Thats just nuts (to me).
I recommend reading Matt Oxleys account of his attempt at the race from 89/90 in his book 'the fast stuff'. Its actually a cracking chapter. The rest of the book is a bit 'Meh'.
ZX10R NIN31 Jul 2017
The Suzuka 8hrs is a very big thing to the Japanese it was a good race very interesting to watch they're still very trick you only have to see how well the Hondas go here compared to everywhere else they race in the world.
MattOz01 Aug 2017
My bike is a Suzuka 8hr replica of the 2007 Suzuki. Wish I could afford some of the trick factory bits mind you.
WaferThinHam01 Aug 2017
The Yoshimura Suzuki is a work of art (as are some the blades).
Love a good Moriwaki bike. Suzuki 8 hour is proper bucket list for me.
Pity no one's doing a highlights package really....
I wonder if an 8 hour WEC race would draw crowds in this country?
ZX10R NIN01 Aug 2017
look on Eurosport they showed it live so it should be on the Eurosport player.