Endurance

Disappointing End To Suzuka 8 Hours For Honda Racing EWC Team

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Having qualified as the only permanent Endurance World Championship team in the top ten and beginning the race with high hopes, the Honda Racing EWC squad left the Suzuka 8 Hours disappointed today after finishing outside the points in 33rd place.

The race was shortened to six hours and 55 minutes after heavy rain delayed the 11.30am start to 12.35pm. Julien Da Costa began the race for the team in very wet conditions, but by the end of his stint the track had dried out and Sebastien Gimbert took over on slick tyres to take the team to ninth place.

It was during the third hour of the race that Freddy Foray was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop with a suspected electrical fault on the bike. The Honda Racing crew got to work to rectify the issue and had the Fireblade back on track within 30 minutes, but the team had dropped to 61st place.

An impressive push from all three riders saw Honda Racing make up 28 places to finish 33rd, but this was not enough to score any championship points and the team leaves Japan empty-handed.

The race was won by the MuSashi RT Harc-Pro team, with Pata Honda‰Ûªs Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark in the line-up. The win is Honda‰Ûªs fifth consecutive Suzuka 8 Hours victory and its 27th in total.

The 2014 Endurance World Championship will continue with the Oschersleben 8-hour on 21/22/23 August.

"After being so successful in qualifying, we‰Ûªre incredibly disappointed to finish the race in 33rd place." Team manager Neil Tuxworth stated. "Unfortunately we experienced an issue with the machine that meant we were unable to achieve what we came here to do.

"The riders did a great job to bring us back up from 61st and I want to thank them for that. Next up is Oschersleben and we‰Ûªll be aiming to come back fighting."

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