Kiyonari wins Suzuka 8 Hours

Ryuichi Kiyonari adds to his 2005 and 2008 successes with another Suzuka 8 Hours win; Jonathan Rea is third.
British Superbike Championship title contender Ryuichi Kiyonari has added a third Suzuka 8 Hours victory to his repertoire as he and his partner led a Honda 1-2-3 in the endurance classic.

The former BSB champion and World Superbike race winner teamed up with Takumi Takahashi to fend off a number of notable names and claim another victory.

"I am very happy to have won the race with the Honda MuSashi Harc Pro team; the last time I raced here I won so I am happy to have done it again,” Kiyonari, who will next be seen as a wild-card at the Silverstone World Superbike round, said.

“The team worked very hard and it was a long race, but it was another good challenge for me. I am now ready to come back to the UK for the World Superbike Championship round at Silverstone.

Having been beaten by Suzuki in 2009, Honda returned to the fore around their home circuit, with former WSBK rider Makoto Tamada finishing second with Shinichi Itoh, while Jonathan Rea was third on his debut after pairing up with Honda MotoGP test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi.

Rea's performance was particularly impressive as two stop-go penalties and a collision with another rider saw him down in 42nd position at one stage. Nonetheless, a marvellous fight back, which also included a fastest lap, saw him get on the podium.

"First of all, I want to thank all my team and the Japanese fans. It was a tough day. We had some unexpected troubles and mistakes, so to be honest I am not so happy. Yet working well together with Akiyoshi and repeatedly telling myself 'never give up, keep going', we were able to get into third place. If I have a chance, I want to participate in the Suzuka 8 Hours again!"

BSB rider Yukio Kagayama finished sixth for Yoshimura Suzuki.

Tagged as: Honda , Suzuki , Suzuka , Kiyonari

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryuichi Kiyonari - HM Plant Honda [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Richard Cooper, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Taylor Mackenzie, Bennetts Suzuki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki, BSB [Credit: MSV Media]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki, BSB [Credit: MSV Media]
Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, Sepang [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, Sepang [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, Sepang [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, Sepang [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Hawk Racing Suzuki, BSB [Credit: BSB media]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Smiths BMW [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]

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July 27, 2010 12:54 PM

Well done Kiyo!! watched most of the race and gotta say it was a flawless effort from the team. Good job Rea too, unlucky with the crash trying to make up time but 3rd was a superb effort. And fastest lap on debut too. :)

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