FIM 2000 World Endurance Championship Rd. 4 "Coca-Cola" Suzuka 8hours Endurance Race Result: 12th Overall 4th in the S-NK class riders: Yoshiteru KONISHI/Jun MAEDA team: F.C.C. TSR TuKa ZIP machine:TSR AC91M There are some extreme sports...
FIM 2000 World Endurance Championship Rd. 4
"Coca-Cola" Suzuka 8hours Endurance Race
Result: 12th Overall 4th in the S-NK class
riders: Yoshiteru KONISHI/Jun MAEDA
team: F.C.C. TSR TuKa ZIP
There are some extreme sports that make people think, "No, not for me! Definitely!", for instance, Raid Gauloises, downhill ski if you see the gradient, even triathlon. You do not need to be qualified to take part in, but they even look like some kind of torture, why should I? But there are still people enjoy doing these.
Suzuka 8 hours is probably the toughest roadrace, 2 riders to complete 8hours among top quality riders, pressures are on the riders, all the manufacturers are really serious about it. The race takes place under the hottest mid-summer sun leading to twilight then dark evening with extraordinary humidity. After each ride, some rider just jump in to children's bathing pool with cold water that his team crew prepared in the pitbox to cool down. This must be some kind of torture too, but riders still love to participate. Yes, you need to be there, you need to be there to experience it.
This race is an endurance race for spectators to follow but for riders, this is not an endurance race, 8 hours of sprint race under the toughest condition. It is such a hard task just to finish the race, because of that when you or your team receives the chequered flag, everybody there will feel the fulfilment and so some men even cry.
For TSR this year's 8 hours was not the best prepared race. We were hit by injury twice, we even needed to replace one rider on Tuesday. Yeah, we know, no excuse. This is race so we just have to do our best with that we have and we did it! No mechanical trouble at all.
We successfully finished the race and it proved the potential of AC91M. We sincerely thank you to everyone who involved.
Last year we had a problem at the start but this time at 11:30am, Konny started off the race from 29th grid but without problem, thank God for that. We were running sort of middle position like 36th, Konny had struggled with the recently operated right hand but he had to go on and by the time he finished his first turn the position was 29th.
Jun took over and steadily ran, this pushed him up to 24th position. Fortunately Jun knew the bike before but he had not done the test ride for this year's 8 hours given he was only named to replace injured Tekkyu who originally teamed up with Konny.
Then Konny made a bit of cock-up exceeding the pitlane speed when he jetted off from the pit box next time, he was penalised for 20 seconds of Stop and Go but then he made own good decision to come back to the pitbox just before fuel running out when he was running at the 19th position.
Jun was still motivated to go faster, he marked his best lap time at the 102 laps at around 15:30 race went on.
Konny then Jun rode through twilight time, not dark but this is the difficult time, we never know what would happen. GP star now Londoner Rossi and WSB star Colin Edwards, their team was already out from the track, and heard Izutsu who was running second position just crashed out.
Before Konny rode for his last ride he said " My right hand finished!" but he really went for it, he took over a couple of riders and then finished the race. Well done guys! We are proud.
Konny, who did the burnout after the race again commented...
"I wanted to prove myself and wanted to convince myself by giving my best during the last ride.
"You know, haven't had a good result in the MOTOGPs yet and I skipped a round, was not even fully fit coming to Suzuka. I was not sure about my right hand but I couldn't help pushing hard. Next race is Czech GP. I am looking forward to it, I do appreciate your cheers!"
Jun Maeda did his best said...
"I must admit we did not have enough time for myself as a rider being told to have a go on Tuesday and the bike prior to the race like setting work etc.. This machine is awesome, we could have got the better result if we had more time.
"We were not the first in the S-NK class but...not bad, is it?"
Masa Fujii, the Chairman commented....
"The best result we would have expected. We could not achieve this without you, supporters, sponsors, my team crew and, two riders. Thank you once again to all!"