Suzuka 8 hours is one of those race contest that tests the determination and endurance of both man and machine. It was a dream come true for the Kawasaki team as the last Suzuka race was won by them in 1993.
The two team member squad Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam with the Kawasaki team had a lot of efforts and everyone was in tears when they came to know that Kawasaki took the Suzuka 8 Hours. Below are their reactions.
Jonathan Rea, stated : “I cannot believe what is happening really. From being dejected and feeling that everything was out of our hands, I had already gone back to the hotel, said goodbye to all the guys, with lots of tears. I was in the restaurant already, ordering dinner, when my mechanic Uri called me and said, ‘Hey, are you sitting down?’ I thought he was going to ask me to go to another restaurant – but he then told me we had won the 8 Hours.
I think common sense prevailed in that one. I have no words because I am really emotional and happy. The strategy was to work on fuel consumption and race consistency and make no mistakes.
I feel we executed that quite well although I got quite tired and cramped at the end. But we prepared the best way possible with the limited time we had.
I am so proud to be part of the project and what an effort from KRT, KHI, KMJ who prepared for this race in two tests. During the race it is like hell, the hardest race you can ever imagine, but getting a result like this almost makes me want to come back for more. The emotional roller coaster is unreal ” .
Leon Haslam, stated: “From everyone being in tears to getting the news sitting in a restaurant that we actually did win it, I have no words to describe how I feel.
The Suzuka 8 Hours is always one of the hardest races of the year. The effort we put in to win, from us, the team and Kawasaki means it has been a big roller coaster of emotion. When the oil went down and the situation happened at the end; words cannot describe the lows we had.
But when the good news came through, the highs were just as high. In the second half of each stint I really struggled physically but the bike was working well. I am so happy and I want to thank Kawasaki for this opportunity; also the whole team, Toprak and Johnny, and we pushed as hard as we could. It is a shame that we did not get to stand on the top of the podium but the result is in and we have won the Suzuka 8 Hours.”
Source : Via Kawasaki NZ