Rea wins prestigous Suzuka 8-hour

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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.

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider