Suzuka 8hr: Haslam makes it two from two as Rea's TSR Honda crashes out
The MuSASHi Honda team of Michael van der Mark, Leon Haslam and Takumi Takahashi have taken their second consecutive victory in the Suzuka 8hr, after bad luck once again robbed their WSB teammate Jonathan Rea of what looked like an assured victory.
Rea’s FCC TSR Honda squad were early leaders when the race eventually got underway after a delay of over an hour caused by torrential rain that saw it start in wet conditions, with Kosuke Akiyoshi pulling out almost a minute of a lead in the rain.
A fast stint from Rea then secured the lead, and the team looked set for victory when disaster struck and Akiyoshi crashed out at theinfamous 130R turn. Picking up the bike and riding it back to the pits for Rea and reserve rider Lorenzo Zanetti to continue, he was only afterwards diagnosed with a broken femur.
The lead then fell to the MuSASHi team, in a repeat performance of last year, and they were able to hold off a late charge fromYoshimura Suzuki, led by MCE BSB race winner Josh Waters. A pair of safety car performances in the last hour was enough to secure their win, negating the charge of the Suzuki team.
BSB veteran Yukio Kagayama’s Suzuki team was third, taking the final podium spot with Nori Haga and Moto2 race winner Dominique Aegerter onboard, while Josh Brookes and Broc Parkes were fourth on the Monster Energy Yamaha, losing out on a podium spot after a quickshifter problem.