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Ukawa and Kiyonari win Suzuka 8-Hour classic

Ukawa and Kiyonari win Suzuka 8-Hour classic

Ukawa and Kiyonari win Suzuka 8-Hour classic

Honda CBR1000RR machines filled the podium places at the 28th running of the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance race held in Japan on Sunday. Former MotoGP riders Ryuichi Kiyonari and Tohru Ukawa brought the Seven Stars Honda home 3-laps clear of team-mates Katsuaki Fujiwara and Chris Vermeulen with the HARC PRO Honda CBR1000RR of Haruchika Aoki and Tsuyoshi Yasuda in third place.

The race win was Ukawa's fifth victory in the high-speed classic, a record. Kiyonari scored his first ever victory in an international race at the circuit.

"I am really happy and I can't believe it. I expected a tough race so when Kagayama was pushing at the beginning, I was only thinking about my pace. Then I tried to concentrate on the race," said a jubilant Kiyonari. "When I handed the machine to Ukawa san for the last time, I told him about the remaining wet patches. I knew he could do it!"

Team mate Ukawa was equally pleased. He said, "Fantastic, the best machine, the best partner and the best team made it possible. Five wins is a great record, but I hope Ryuichi will break it one day."

Ryuichi ‘Kiyo' Kiyonari was the chosen lead-off rider on the # 7 Honda and he quickly moved to the front chased by Ito on the FCC TSR Honda with the Yoshimura Suzuki of Kagayama close behind. At the pit-stop and rider change-over Kiyo handed team-mate Ukawa a 10 second lead over the Yoshimura team with Moriwaki up to third place. From that point on Kiyo and Ukawa were never under serious threat and steadily extended their lead. The two men held their nerve when the rain started to fall as the third hour began and the Seven Stars team made good use of their Michelin rain tyres lapping consistently faster than their rivals. Many others were not so cool, several of their leading challengers crashing in the heavy rain and consequent slippery conditions.


1. R.Kiyonari / T.Ukawa (Honda) 204laps - 8:01'22.351.
2. C.Vermeulen / K.Fujiwara (Honda) 201 laps
3. H.Aoki / T.Yasuda (Honda) 200 laps
4. O.Deguchi / Y.Teshima (Honda) 199 laps
5. T.Yamaguchi / K.Tokudome (Honda) 198 laps
6. Y.Sugai / J.Brookes (Honda) 197 laps
7. Keiichi Kitagawa / Vincent Phillip (Suzuki) 196 laps
8. Hiroaki Kawase / Akira Tamitsuji (Suzuki) 195 laps
9. G.Giabbani / I.Jerman/ H.Saiger (Yamaha) 194 laps
10. Yukio Kagayama / Atsushi Watanabe (Suzuki) 193 laps

MotoGP, 2005

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