Yamaha Factory triumphs again at Suzuka 8 Hours
Yamaha Factory Racing Team has won the Suzuka 8 Hours for the second consecutive year. Pol Espargaró, Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Alex Lowes steered Yamaha to victory, ahead of Kawasaki’s factory Team Green and Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance.
As in 2015, Yamaha Factory Racing Team swept the board at the Suzuka 8 Hours, claiming both pole position and a win with Pol Espargaró, Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Alex Lowes leading the race for practically all of the 218 laps. Head and shoulders above the others with a fastest lap of 2’08.411, Yamaha Factory Racing Team widened the gap with the other potential winners as the hours slipped by.
Second past the finish line, Team Green ran a superb race with riders Akira Yanagawa, Leon Haslam and Kazuki Watanabe, waging a heated battle with Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance for the second step of the podium in the final few hours of the race, but Team Green managed to turn the duel to its advantage.
2009 was the last time there was a Kawasaki on the Suzuka 8 Hours podium. Eva RT Trick Star too had finished second that year. Musashi RT Harc-Pro was missing from the roll call of favourites. The Honda #634 had to withdraw because of engine failure.
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team finished fourth – the best-placed of the FIM EWC championship teams – and is now back in the running for the world title, on par with Team SRC Kawasaki and just ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and F.C.C. TSR Honda.
Moto Map Supply were fifth past the finish line with Josh Waters, Nobuatsu Aoki and Yoshihiro Konno, ahead of another Suzuki – the Team Kagayama machine. Yukio Kagayama, Naomichi Uramoto and Ryuichi Kiyonari were slowed down by an especially laborious refuelling stop, followed by a flat tyre.
The last round of the season - the Oschersleben 8 Hours - is scheduled for Saturday 27 August. With only 17 points separating the top seven teams, the last race of the season is set to be a thrilling one. The Oschersleben 8 Hours winner will pick up 35 points.
1 Team April Moto Motors Events Suzuki 68
2 SRC Kawasaki Kawasaki 60
3 YART Yamaha Official EWC Team Yamaha 60
4 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 59
5 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda 56
6 GMT94 YAMAHA Yamaha 52
7 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 51
8 Team R2CL Suzuki 45
9 Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha 35
10 Voelpker NRT48 by Schubert-Motors BMW 35
11 TEAM 3ART YAM'AVENUE Yamaha 34
12 Team GREEN Kawasaki JAP 29
13 Team Bolliger Switzerland Kawasaki 29
14 AM Moto Racing Competition Kawasaki 26
15 Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance Suzuki 25
16 Junior Team LMS Suzuki Suzuki 25
17 Tati Team Beaujolais Racing Kawasaki 21
18 Moto Maps Supply Suzuki 18
19 MACO RACING Team Yamaha 17
20 Team Kagayama Suzuki 16
21 Eva RT Test Type 01-Trick Star Kawasaki 14
22 SatuHATI Honda Team Asia Honda 13
23 Racing Team Sarazin Kawasaki 13
24 TEAM LOUIT MOTO 33 TRAQUEUR Kawasaki 13
25 Mistresa with ATS Honda 12
26 au&Teluru-KoharaRT Honda 11
27 Lukoil BMW Motorrad CSEU BMW 11
28 TOHO Racing Honda 10
29 Starteam PAM-Racing Suzuki 9
30 TECMAS RACING TEAM - BMW BMW 9
31 Cottard Motosport Suzuki 8
32 Space Moto 37 Suzuki 7
33 TRT 27 / Bazar 2 La Becane Suzuki 6
34 Team Tras 135HP BMW 5
35 GERT 56 HMT by rs speedbikes BMW 5
36 Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki 5
37 Yamaha Viltaïs Experience Yamaha 5
38 Motorrad Rennsport BMW 4
39 Slider Endurance Yamaha 4
40 Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers Kawasaki 4
41 Zuff Racing Team Honda 3
42 MOTOS ACTIVES SPORT 14 Kawasaki 2
43 Parkalgar Racing Team Yamaha 2
44 Team Frontier Honda 1
45 Team LRP Poland BMW 1
46 MB MOTORS TEAM Yamaha 1