Results Suzuka 300km2007-06-10 12:36
Kyonari and Rae take Suzuka 300km race victory
Ryuichi Kyonari and Jonathan Rae raced their CBR100RR to victory in the Suzuka 300km race he at the fast Japanese circuit today as the Anglo - Japanese duo laid solid foundations for their assault on the prestigious 2007 FIM World Endurance "Coca Cola ZERO" Suzuka 8 hours to be
held at the circuit on Sunday July 29, 2007.
The British Superbike Championship team-mates were followed home by Yoshiteru Konishi of Team HARC-PRO., who finished second. The results meant a one-two finish for Honda in this important race ahead of the Suzuka 8hrs.
This year's "Road to 8hours" Suzuka 300km
Endurance Race (referred to as "Suzuka 300km"
marked the fourth time this race is held. As the
name suggests, the race is widely considered as a
prelude to the 30th anniversary Suzuka 8hrs race,
with the finals planned this year on July 29,
2007 (Sunday). For running the whole distance of
a Suzuka 300km race, it is necessary to make at
least one pit stop for refueling. Registration of
one rider or up to two riders is possible for
each team, and changing the rider midway is allowed.
The machines conforming to the regulations of
Suzuka 8hrs are used in a Suzuka 300km, for which
the starting method in accordance with the Le
Mans method has been adopted. All of this
literally makes Suzuka 300km a very important
race ahead of Suzuka 8hrs, the well-known, intense midsummer race.
A press conference announcing the teams for
Suzuka 8hrs was also held on the day of the
Suzuka 300km finals. Honda announced that TEAM
HRC would compete in Suzuka 8hrs as its works
team with 2 machines. For the riders, Honda
stated that, in addition to the 4 riders
competing in Suzuka 300km, HRC may also consider
the riders currently taking part in the World Championships Series.
Honda fielded the following teams and riders for
this year's Suzuka 300km. As the factory team,
TEAM HRC competed in the JSB1000 class with two
CBR1000RR's, just as for the upcoming Suzuka
8hrs. Ryuichi Kiyonari and Jonathan Rea, who both
compete in British Super Bike(BSB)races, formed a team wearing No.11.
The team of Yusuke Teshima and Tadayuki Okada
wore No.33. Kiyonari, last year's champion in
BSB, has again achieved excellent results this
season. Rea is another outstanding rider and is a
teammate of Kiyonari in BSB. Teshima has competed
in the JSB1000 class of All-Japan Championship
races this year as a member of TEAM HRC. Pairing
up with Teshima was Okada, a veteran rider who
formerly competed in World GP races. #778 F.C.C.
TSR, the team that won the championship at last
year's Suzuka 8hrs, competed in the superbike
(SBK) regulations class of this year's Suzuka 300km.
All the machines of the teams which would compete
only in Suzuka 8hrs are required to participate
in the JSB1000 class, but because F.C.C. TSR
already competed in this year's QMMF FIM World
Endurance Championship Race Rd2 and won points,
the team was able to choose to compete in the SBK
class in Suzuka 300km. This was an option
possible only for the teams with year-round entry
in the World Endurance Championship Races, winning points.
The rider for the F.C.C. TSR team was Takeshi
Tsujimura, who was one of the riders that won the
championship last year. Team HARC-PRO., which
stood on the podium for two years in a row at
Suzuka 8hrs, fielded Yoshiteru Konishi as its
rider in this year's Suzuka 300km. Tatsuya
Yamaguchi and Leon Camier were the riders for
MORIWAKI MOTUL RACING team, and for Team Sakurai
Honda, each of Chojun Kameya and Yuichi Takeda
competed independently. Kazuki Tokudome was the
sole rider for the Honda DREAM Racing Team.
Just like the day before on which the
qualifying race was staged, the weather
conditions were unstable in the morning with
occasional rain on the day of the finals, but at
around noon, there were some patches of clear sky
from time to time, even though with a lot of
clouds. At 13:50, the finals race with 52 laps
started with dry surface conditions. Kiyonari,
the first rider of TEAM HRC wearing No.11,
started from grid No.4, and jumping to the top
spot in the first lap, smoothly led the way lap
after lap. Tsujimura of F.C.C. TSR was in fifth
place, Konishi of Team HARC-PRO. was in 6th
place, and Teshima, the first rider of TEAM HRC
wearing No.33, was in seventh place, followed by
Kameya of Team Sakurai Honda in 8th place,
chasing the top group as they finished the first lap.
In the 10th lap, Kiyonari in the top spot was
passed by Akiyoshi of YOSHIMURA SUZUKI and
dropped to No.2, but Tsujimura moved up to fourth
place, as did Kameya to fifth place and Teshima
to sixth place. Later, in the 18th lap, Kiyonari
managed to again pass Akiyoshi in a Degner
section and regained the top spot. At this point,
Honda riders dominated from the fourth place
onward, with Tsujimura, Kameya, Konishi and
Teshima running one after another, but raindrops
began falling intermittently at around this time
from the west side of the course. In the 20th
lap, Teshima passed Tsujimura to move up to 4th place.
In the 24th lap, Teshima, the first rider of
TEAM HRC wearing No.33, entered the pit and a
switch was made to Okada, the team's second
rider. Other teams also entered the pit one after
another from around this time. In the following
25th lap, Kiyonari with No.11 entered the pit and
was replaced by Rea. This was when Akiyoshi of
YOSHIMURA SUZUKI, who was battling for the top
spot with Kiyonari, suddenly stopped on the
course just before entering the pit, and he had
to retire from the race. With the rain gradually
becoming heavier, Kameya, who had just come out
of the pit, fell down at the final corner. As of
the 27th lap, by when almost all the machines had
entered the pit, Rea of TEAM HRC wearing No.11
continued leading the race, followed by Nakasuga
of YSP&PRESTO Racing in 2nd place, Okada with
No.11 in 3rd place and Konishi in fourth place.
In the 32nd lap, with the rain now becoming
heavier, Rea the leader chose the tactic of
slowing down the pace to let Nakasuga following
him to pass him and grab the top position. His
aim was to carefully watch the pace for a while.
Immediately after this happened, Okada with
No.33, who had run at a fast pace of 2 minutes 10
seconds after taking over and aiming for a 1-2
finish for TEAM HRC, tried to avoid a machine
running a lap behind the leaders in the back
straight section and fell down. Although Okada
did not suffer any serious injury, he had to retire from the race.
With the weather conditions recovering late in
the race, Rea raised the pace and passed Nakasuga
in the main straight of the 41st lap to recapture
the top spot. Later, Nakasuga in second place
entered the pit once again, and Konishi moved up
to second place. The Ryuichi Kiyonari / Jonathan
Rea duo of TEAM HRC continued to smoothly lead
the race to eventually win the championship,
followed by Konishi of HARC-PRO. in the second
place. The 1-2 finish in this prelude race ahead
of Suzuka 8hrs was a very positive result for Honda.
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Team HRC: 1st.
"From the start, I was aiming to build a big lead
over the rider in 2nd place, but raising the pace
was difficult early on in the race. We had a lot
of tests in advance and the combination with the
tires had improved, so I was confident of a good
run if the weather was fine. I was passed by
Akiyoshi and it started running midway, so it was
a difficult race, but I was able to effectively
run on even wet surfaces to increase the pace.
This is my second consecutive victory at Suzuka
300km, but being able to team up today with
Jonathan Rea, my teammate in BSB, in particular,
we had managed to achieve good results from the
test stage. We both could run at similar paces
today, and I feel really thankful to Jonathan for
the result. Our victory today is thanks to all of
you fans cheering us on and every member on the team."
Jonathan Rea, Team HRC: 1st.
"This was my first endurance race and my first
race at Suzuka Circuit, so I was really tense
before the race. With a lot of corners, the
course was twice as long as the courses in
Britain I usually race on, and it was a very
difficult course, but I was able to ride with a
good rhythm and really enjoyed the race. With the
rain, the conditions were also very difficult. I
couldn't tell how the situation with the rain
would be, so I was thinking of perhaps entering
the pit if the rain continued to become heavier.
Fortunately, the rain cleared up after that, and
I was able to run at a good pace and win the
race. For our win today, I am really grateful to
the manager, the whole team and Kinoyari. My stay
in Japan this time turned out to be a really good
experience for me. I will leave for UK tomorrow,
but I do want to pair up with Kinoyari again to
compete in Suzuka 8hrs, with the goal of winning the championship."
Yoshiteru Konishi, Team HARC-PRO Honda: 2nd.
"It was difficult to see the pit board during the
race, and I wasn't aware for a long while that I
was in second place. I did win the second place,
but my time was far behind the time of the
winning team, and so I'm not really satisfied
with my run today. Yasuda was not feeling well
today, so suddenly I was to run the whole race by
myself. In the difficult conditions, raising the
pace was not easy for me. There's still a lot of
work to do if I'm to aim for the top spot on the
podium. Together with Yasuda, I think we need to
work hard to improve our performance toward
Suzuka 8hrs. We'll make thorough preparations in
time for Suzuka 8hrs, with the goal of winning the championship."
Yusuke Teshima Team HRC: dnf. Team mate Okada crashed.
"I feel very thankful to everyone concerned for
being able to compete as an HRC rider in the
All-Japan Championships and Suzuka 300km. We
ended up retiring from the race today, but I'm
relieved that Tady Okada didn't suffer any
serious injury because of the crash. I was able
to run today with Okada, who taught me a lot of
things, and the race was really a valuable
experience for me. I want to draw on what I
learned and the results achieved, and I will give
it my best in the tests toward Suzuka 8hours."
Tadayuki Okada Team HRC: dnf - crash.
"A 1-2 finish for TEAM HRC was within view today,
so it's really regrettable to finish the race
with this result. I want to apologize to the team
and Teshima. Trying to pass a machine a lap
behind the leaders didn't work out well, and I
ran out onto the dirt and fell down. But we do
have a really good teamwork on the whole right
now, and things are going in a good direction
overall, so I think we had a lot to gain ahead of
Suzuka 8hrs. I think Teshima has learned and
mastered so much in the past week. I now really
look forward to his races in the All-Japan Championships."
Source: Honda Pro Image
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