No. 21 Yamaha Factory Racing Team wins for the first time in 19 years at the Suzuka 8 Hours race

Suzuka 8 Hours: Yamaha wins for the first time in 19 years, the turning point of its 60th anniversary

No. 21 Yamaha Factory Racing Team (Katsuyuki Nakasuka/Pol Espargaró/Bradle Smith) took the checkered flag at 7:30 pm at the 2015 Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8-Hours Endurance Road Race, which started at 11:30 am. In addition, the team won with 204 laps.

When there was only one hour left, the light on board sign was put up, which is a custom in the Suzuka 8 Hours race. Finally, the riders rushed to the night session. No. 21 Yamaha, who has been racing in first place, went to the pit stop for refueling during the remaining 30 minutes, and they changed their rider from Nakasuka to Smith.
Smith faced the final stint as the anchor.

Immediately after that, an accident once again occurred before the hairpin turn. When there were only 20 minutes left, the sixth safety car appeared. The race resumed when there were only 10 minutes left. The ranking did not change and the checkered flag was waved.

Yamaha celebrated its 60th anniversary and prepared a factory-backed team to win the championship this year. In addition to their ace Katsuyuki Nakasuka, they also appointed Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith, active MotoGP riders, as their riders.
The team’s strongest lineup showed splendid race progress using the new YZF-R1, a motorcycle that Yamaha developed with prestige. This is the Yamaha fleet’s first victory in 19 years since 1996. This is also Nakasuka’s first long-awaited victory in the Suzuka 8 Hours race. Espargaró and Smith also became champions in their first challenge. No. 778 F.C.C. TSR Honda (Joshua Hook/Kyle Smith/Dominique Aegerter) was in second place and has been on the victory stand as a team since 2012. No. 17 Team Kagayama (Yukio Kagayama/Noriyuki Haga/Ryuichi Kiyonari) came in third place and has won the third place podium for three consecutive years.

(Translated by Natassia Jeronne D. Martinez)