July 30, 2012

Honda's Jonathan Rea wins Suzuka 8-hours

Honda World Superbike Team rider Jonathan Rea has become the first British rider to win the coveted and prestigious Suzuka 8-hours race in Japan.

Riding for the F.C.C. TSR Honda team, Rea and his team-mate, Kosuke Akiyoshi, won the race by four laps from TOHO
Racing Honda, completing a one-two for Honda's CBR1000RR Fireblade. The Yamaha France team finished third.

Rea and Akiyoshi, who finished third together in the 8-hours race in 2010, were joined on the Suzuka podium by former Honda World Superbike rider, Tadayuki Okada, who was the team's reserve rider.

This victory marked Honda's 25th triumph in the Suzuka 8-hours race and the sixth win for the CBR1000RR machine in its 20th anniversary year.

"I'm so happy to get a win in such a huge race as the Suzuka 8-hours," said Rea after his gruelling endurance effort. "I really appreciate the efforts of Kosuke Akiyoshi, Tady Okada, Honda and all the F.C.C. TSR team staff. Kosuke was riding very, very fast, and Tady gave me a lot of really useful advice. I want to thank them both so much."

Rea's Honda World Superbike colleague, Hiroshi Aoyama, rode for the MuSASHi RT Harc-Pro team, which was battling for the lead with just two hours to go when team-mate rider, Ryuichi Kiyonari, crashed out unhurt.

Aoyama commented, "This has been a great experience for me, thanks to my team-mates and the efforts of the whole MuSASHi Honda team. It's a shame that we could not fight until the end of the race but it felt good to be riding at the front. I'd like to challenge for the Suzuka 8-hours race again next year."

The two Honda World Superbike Team riders now return to SBK action for round 10 of the 2012 series at Silverstone in the UK next weekend, August 3-5.

(Image: Noriyuki Nakajima)


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