2011 Suzuka 8 Hours
After the FCC TSR Honda team suffered two crashes Sunday, it looked as if the victor at 2011 Suzuka 8 Hours, Round 3 of 5 in the 2011 Endurance World Championship (EWC), would go to the team on the pole, Yoshimura Suzuki.
But the EWC race came down to the wire, endurance speaking, with FCC TSR Honda team of Ryuichi Kiyonari, Kousuke Akiyoshi and Shinichi Ito taking the win by 38.765 seconds over the Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team of Yukio Kagayama, Josh Waters and Nobuatsu Aoki.
After the 34th running of the Suzuka 8-Hours was in the FIM EWC history books, FCC TSR Honda completed a total of 217 laps. Taking the final spot on the podium was the Musashi RT Harc Pro Honda Team (Tadauki Okada, Makoto Tamada, Takumi Takahashi).
With the FCC TSR win aboard the CBR1000RR, Honda has now won 24 of 34 Suzuka 8-Hours EWC races.
When the Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours got underway, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Kagayama took the lead from the pole position, just overtaking Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) rider Daisaku Sakai, who started from 15th on the grid.
An hour into the 2011 Suzuka 8 Hours, Waters replaced Kagayama, and the team moved into second place behind Tamada on the Musashi RT Harc Honda CBR1000RR. Three hours later, Kagayama again took the control of the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000, and regained the lead. But the FCC TSR Honda team went from third to first with a bit over two hours to go, and finished ahead of the Yoshimura Suzuki team by 38.765 seconds.
As for the points battle, SERT held the lead over BMW Motorrad France 99 by two points heading into Suzuka 8 Hours, but after Sunday’s race, the reigning FIM EWC Champions SERT moved into second. The current leaders are BMW Motorrad France 99, who finished Suzuka 8 Hours in fourth position.
2011 Suzuka 8 Hours Podium Quotes
Ryuichi Kiyonari (FCC TSR Honda CBR1000RR) says: “After my crash at the beginning of the race I felt obliged to do my best to get the victory for my team.”
Shinichi Itoh (FCC TSR Honda CBR1000RR) says: “I had decided to quit racing last year but to be here and win again is the best way I found to support my region and my friends. It was very difficult to be prepared enough for the race but I tried my best.”
Yukio Kagayama (Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team GSX-R1000) says: “The Team FCC TSR Honda has been very fast… And Ryuichi Kiyonari did not give me any chance to come closer towards the end of the race.”
Round 4 of the 2011 FIM Endurance World Championship gets underway in France Sept. 24 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
2011 Suzuka 8 Hour Results:
1. FCC TSR Honda (Honda) 217 laps
2. Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team (Suzuki GSX-R1000) – 38.765 seconds
3. Musashi RT Harc-Pro (Honda) – 1’31.162
4. BMW Motorrad France 99 (BMW) 212 laps
5. Eva RT Test Type-01 Trickstar FRTR (Kawasaki) 211
6. Crown Keibhosyou Racing (Honda) 210
7. Yamaha Racing France GM94 iPhone (Yamaha) 210
8. Teluru-HoneyBee Racing (Honda) 210
9. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 208
10. Toho Racing Hiroshima Desmo (Ducati) 206.
2011 FIM Endurance World Championship Points (after 3 of 5 rounds)
1. BMW Motorrad 99, 68
2. SERT, 62 Suzuki 35
3. Yamaha France GMT, 46
4. FCC TSR Honda, 30
5. SRS Kawasaki, 28