Endurance: Yamaha make it back-to-back victories at Suzuka

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Yamaha Factory Racing have made it back-to-back victories at the Suzuka 8 Hour, with Alex Lowes, Pol Espargaró and Kats Nakasuga taking a stunning win at the 2016 event by leading almost from start to finish.

MCE British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari was an early leader, until Nakasuga made his move through into the lead and never looked back, eventually taking the faultless victory by over two minutes.

The battle for second was much more intense though, with Leon Haslam and Josh Brookes taking the fight right down the final hour, with the Kawasaki rider just getting the best of Yoshimura Suzuki for the final podium place.

Broc Parkes was an impressive fourth, the first non-Bridgestone shod machine, ahead of Josh Waters and the MotoMap Supply Suzuki. Kiyonari and Team Kagayama rallied back to sixth after an early crash.

However, the day was a total disaster for Honda at their home venue, with the top finishers back in eighth with SatuHATI Honda Team Asia. The factory MuSASHi HARC-PRO effort of Takumi Takahashi, Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark failed to finish after a technical problem, while Dominique Aegerter crashed out on the FCC TSR Honda.

Gino Rea rode the Toho Honda home to 12th and best privateer after an early crash for the World Supersport runner, while Louth-based Honda Endurance Racing were 13th after final hour technical problems. TT winner Gary Johnson was an impressive 16th on his debut.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer