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Takahashi and Kiyonari win Suzuka 300km

Takahashi and Kiyonari win Suzuka 300km

Takahashi and Kiyonari win Suzuka 300km

Japanese 250cc rider Yuki Takahashi and Bennetts British Superbike star Ryuichi Kiyonari were winners in their spare time last weekend, taking victory in the Suzuka 300km race in their home country.

The preliminary event for the prestigious Suzuka 8hrs endurance race, the 300km is both an individual and team event not included on the All Japan Championship calendar. Takahashi and Kiyonari were riding a Seven Star Honda CBR1000RRW for the showcase, representing HRC.

Kiyonari qualified second on Saturday, and started for the race itself. Whilst in third position on the 34th lap of a weather-affected race which saw the previously wet track dry rapidly, he came in to pass the baton to team-mate Takahashi. Moving up into second, the Honda rider eventually took the chequered flag when first-placed Shinichi Ito ran out of fuel whilst 14 seconds ahead.

Kiyonari paid tribute to his team-mate after the race, stating that "I don't dislike wet racing at Suzuka, but today's condition was very difficult. The pace wasn't very fast at the beginning and when it quickened up the track was dry. The front riders hadn't come in to the pits so I was wondering when to change the tyre. Yuki did a really good job and I think that was the reason we won today."

HRC announced that two factory CBR1000RRWs will be entered in the Suzuka 8hrs race, but are yet to name their riders. Kiyonari and Takahashi are likely to participate as a team again, having been scheduled to compete in the 2004 race until Takahashi suffered an injury in practice.

MotoGP, 2006, Yuki Takahashi

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