Jonathan Rea became the first British rider to win the prestigious Suzuka 8-hour Endurance race. Riding the FCC TSR Honda with team-mate Kousuke Akiyoshi, Rea secured a convincing four lap victory to secure his name in the history books.
Speaking to MCN from Japan, Rea said: “Right now I’ve got a million emotions going through my head. First of all I’m so happy to finish the race because it so tough and secondly winning the 8-hour means I’ve fulfilled a dream. This moment will last forever.
“The weekend hasn’t always gone to plan. It took me until morning warm-up to find a race tyre I was happy with. In my first stint I didn’t have the confidence to run the same pace as the front guys to start with, but in the second half I could maintain the gap. My team-mate Akiyoshi had a good first stint and then in my second stint we ended up with a 25 second lead but my fuel consumption wasn’t that good and I ended up running out of fuel and had to coast back to the pits.
"In the next stint Akiyoshi and Kiyonari matched each other lap after lap but then I was able to take 15s out of Aoyama. Our closest rivals crashed out and from then on we hada a big lead and it was all about race management.”
Rea’ victory comes after three attemps at the prestigious race. In 2010 he finished third.