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Honda Wins the 8-Hour and British Stars Shine at Suzuka
The DREAM Honda Racing Team duo of Ryuichi Kiyonari and Carlos Checa took victory at the weekend’s Suzuka 8-Hour race on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, sporting a new stunning and distinctive HRC tri-colour paint scheme.
The prestigious endurance event, which is held annually as part of the World Endurance Championship, is one of the highlights of the Japanese road-racing calendar and is vitally important for each of the domestic Japanese motorcycle manufacturers.
The DREAM Honda Racing Team CBR1000RR Fireblade was the victorious machine after eight gruelling hours around the legendary 3.6-mile Suzuka race circuit. Riders Kiyo and Checa eventually took the win by a whole lap.
It was no easy victory though, as a pit-lane speeding penalty, heavy rain and a last-hour brake problem all meant that the dominant World Superbike stars had to push hard to take the win – all the more sweet as both riders had come perilously close to winning in previous years.
Former double British Superbike champion Kiyonari said: “I was really nervous during the last hour watching Carlos riding. The front brake problem was already there during my last stint. I was scared to watch sparks fly when Carlos braked! The bike performed excellently and also looked fantastic in the new HRC paint scheme and I’m so happy that we won.”
Carlos added: “Usually, when you have a big margin like today, you can relax more, but I had no front brake during my last stint so I was really nervous. I’m so happy to have won.”
And, while the Fireblade of Checa and Kiyo took the win, the British stars of World Supersport and British Superbikes also did well. HM Plant Honda’s Cal Crutchlow took sixth place overall with his Moriwaki team-mate Tatsuya Yamaguchi while Leon Haslam took ninth overall with his team-mate Chojun Kameya.
Cal said: “I’m pretty happy with sixth to be honest, although as a racer you want to win every race. I thoroughly enjoyed my first Suzuka 8-Hour race and would love to come back and win it.”
Leon said: “We were almost there to challenge for the podium until the middle of the race, but unfortunately Kameya-san crashed. He rode very hard to make it up and that was the main reason we could finish 9th. This was my first Suzuka 8-Hour race and it was a great experience. If I have the chance again, I would love to do it next year.”
Meanwhile, World Supersport star Jonathan Rea crashed out after 134 laps while in a podium position. “I crashed just before I was coming into the pit,” he said. “I was pushing hard at the spoon curve and suddenly the front wheel tucked. I am very disappointed for the team and myself. We were third and I wanted to get on the podium desperately.”
All riders will now return home and prepare for the next rounds in their respective championships. For World Superbike and World Supersport stars Kiyo, Checa and Rea that will be this coming weekend at Brands Hatch, while Crutchlow and Haslam will return to British Superbike action at Knockhill a week later on 8-10 August.
For more information about the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade call 0845 200 800, visit or visit your local dealer. Honda motorcycle dealers can be located using the ‘Dealer Search’ facility within the motorcycles area on, where you can also find all the latest news and information about the full Honda motorcycle range, offers, genuine parts and accessories and forthcoming events.