Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Yukio Kagayama and Kousuke Akiyoshi raced their GSX-R1000 to victory in the Suzuka 8 Hour World Endurance third round in Japan - the team’s first Suzuka endurance win for 27 years.
It was back in 1980 that the team tasted victory with riders Wes Cooley and Graeme Crosby and this year’s win ended the 10-year domination of Honda.
suzuki 24h suzuka
Kagayama led from the start from Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari, Norick Abe (Yamaha) and Tady Okada (Honda), opening up a 15-second advantage by the one hour mark when Akiyoshi took over.
The duo continued to increase their advantage lap by lap to take victory with 216 laps.
World Championship leaders SERT with riders Vincent Philippe, Matthieu Lagrive and Julien Da Costa were the second best of the permanent teams finishing in seventh position with Yoshimura’s second team finishing just off the rostrum in fourth.
"My strategy for my first stint was to pull away and I achieved this. My partner Akiyoshi is my long time friend and I know his potential very well. The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 is awesome and the Bridgestone tyres were excellent. I would like to thank my staff and team, Yoshimura and Suzuki." said Yukio Kagayama after the race.