Suzuka: James Toseland crashes out of Suzuka 8-hour
James Toseland crashed out of the Suzuka 8-hour race just three laps into his first stint forcing the number one Honda squad out of the race and ending his dream of victory in the prestigious event.
Toseland and his team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari were lying in second position after starting the race in fourth place, but it all went wrong for Toseland as he tried to bridge the 13 second gap to Kosuke Akiyoshi onboard the Yoshimura Suzuki and crashed out.
The 26 year old Brit was pushing hard when he tucked the front of his HRC Fireblade at the Dunlop curve and although Toseland was unhurt and able to get restarted and back to the pits the bike was too badly damaged to continue.
The race for overall victory came down to a battle between Yoshimura Suzuki riders Yukio Kagayama and Akiyoshi and the second HRC squad of Carlos Checa and Tady Okada. With Okada earning a 30 second time penalty for jumping the start at the beginning of the race the Honda team were down in ninth position at the end of the first hour and began mounting a gutsy fight back. With a massive 1m38s gap to close the Honda team spent the remaining seven hours closing on the Yoshimura Suzuki squad and got to within just 1.5s seconds at the finish but it wasn’t enough.
Kagayama and Akiyoshi victory for Suzuki ends Honda’s dominance in the event, which has lasted nearly a decade.
Third position went to the FCC Honda team of Schinichi Itoh and Yusuka Teshima with the second Yoshimura Suzuki squad of Watanabe and Sakai in fourth.
Leon Camier upheld British honour by taking fifth place for the Moriwaki Honda squad with team-mate Yamaguchi.
YOSHIMURA SUZUKI with JOMO 34
TEAM HRC 33
F.C.C.TSR ZIP-FM Racing Team
YOSHIMURA SUZUKI with JOMO 12
MORIWAKI MOTUL RACING
MASKED RIDER DEN-O Honda DREAM RT
SUZUKI ENDURANCE RACING TEAM
F.C.C. TSR EUROSPORT BENELUX
YAMAHA RACING 81
Team SAKURAI HONDA 71