The 2015 Coca Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race will finally begin next week. Kawasaki Motors Japan will join as Team Green, Kawasaki’s factory team. Haji Ahmad Yudhistira talks about his enthusiasm in joining as the third rider for this team.
Yudhistira is a 22-year old rider from Indonesia. He participates in the Asia Road Racing Championship for this season. He won second place during the second race of the season opener held in Sepang, Malaysia. After, he splendidly attained the overall champion title in his homeland, Indonesia, in Race 1 of Round 2. Because of this, he was suddenly selected to be the third rider for the factory team. He will be racing together with Akira Yanagawa and Kazuki Watanabe, Kawasaki’s aces for the All Japan Road Race Championship in the upcoming Suzuka 8 Hours race.
“I’m very honored to be able to come to this place. I want to express my gratitude to everyone in Kawasaki who gave me this wonderful opportunity. I normally race for the ST600, but I also joined as the third racer just before the pretesting at the Suzuka Circuit. Coming from ST600, suddenly jumping to riding a 1,000cc motorcycle this time makes me motivated, because of their awesome power. I want to practice more and contribute to the team.”
Yudhistira is also one of the aspiring young riders of the world. There are many top riders who will participate this year, such as the former world champion Casey Stoner. Yudhistira was very excited for being able to ride a motorcycle and join the contest there.
“I got very excited because I get to race with riders like Stoner, and I’m very happy for being able to collaborate with wonderful riders like Yanagawa and Watanabe for the Suzuka 8 Hours race. Therefore, I want to make more efforts to be a dependable part of our team by practicing more despite this limited time.”
Nevertheless, the public pretesting on July 7 and 8 were mostly in wet conditions due to the rain; thus, they were only able to do the testing at their own pace in the morning of the second day, when the weather conditions were dry. Yanagawa and Watanabe performed with only a small time difference between each other. Team Manager Toshiro Shakado carefully regarded this and said that he wants to think of having a three-person team, which includes Yudhistira, doing the stints for the 8-hour race.
This, the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race, where top riders from all over the world gather, is a popular event all over the world. There were many riders who also took the chance to challenge this world championship event and made great results in the past. Of course, Yudhistira might be able to challenge bigger events like the World Superbike Championship, MotoGP, and the like, depending on the results of his performance this time.
Yudhistira is making his way from Indonesia to the rest of Asia, and then to the rest of the world. We look forward to what kind of race they will be having next week.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)