Endurance: Round #3 Honda Race Preview – Suzuka 8 Hours

Honda Endurance Racing Team Shot Honda Racing Press Release: The Honda Endurance Racing team resumes its 2015 World Endurance Championship campaign this week for the 38th “Coca-Cola Zero” Suzuka 8 Hours, fresh from taking part in the 24 Hours of Catalunya, in Barcelona, where the squad finished second. Honda’s endurance specialists Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert on-board the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, will battle the heat and extreme conditions at the 5.821km Honda-owned Suzuka circuit, against 70 EWC teams – including their usual EWC rivals and a host of specialist Japanese outfits. After a positive outing in Barcelona, 10 days ago, Da Costa, Foray and Gimbert will be aiming for a podium finish, but the team’s main objective is to score as many important championship points as possible. The Suzuka 8 Hours will start at 11:30 Japanese Standard Time (GMT+9) on Sunday 26 July. Neil Tuxworth: We are going to the Suzuka 8 Hours after a very successful event in Barcelona, the changes made on the CBR since Le Mans were positive and our riders had 24-hours racing in hot conditions, which was a very good test before Suzuka. We are confident ahead of the race and we’ll aim to finish on the podium and collect some important championship points at Honda’s home circuit. Julien Da Costa: Last year we were strong at Suzuka but unfortunately we had a small issue during the race. This year, I think we will be able to finish in the top-5 if everything goes to plan. We have good fuel consumption, which is a good thing at Suzuka because it’s a very long circuit, so if we can get less pit stops than the other teams, I think we’ll be able to save a lot of time. It’s a really exciting race every year and we are really looking forward to compete against MotoGP legend Casey Stoner, as well as the rest of the other riders. Freddy Foray: I remember last year at Suzuka – it was tough with hot temperatures and humidity. For sure this year the confidence is good ahead of the race; we have to push 100% and hopefully score some all-important points. Racing with Casey Stoner is also great, if I could overtake him on the brakes just once, it would definitely be something amazing! Sébastien Gimbert: I feel quite confident ahead of Suzuka; last year we felt very comfortable on the Fireblade, we qualified for the Superpole and the first hours of the race went really well. It’;s always great to race there and to compete against MotoGP and SBK riders, but we don’t have to forget that there will be many Japanese endurance specialists as well who are really strong and spend their whole year training for this race. It is always something special to race at Honda’s home with all the riders from different championships. For us the main target is still the championship, so the goal at Suzuka will be to score as many points as possible against the other permanent teams. Championship Standings 1 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team    60 pts    FRA    SUZUKI    Suzuki Endurance Racing Team 2 Team Bolliger Switzerland    42 pts    NA    KAWASAKI    Team Bolliger Switzerland 3 SRC Kawasaki    41 pts    FRA    KAWASAKI    SRC Kawasaki 4 GMT94 Yamaha    33 pts    NA    YAMAHA    GMT94 Yamaha 5 BMW MOTORRAD France TEAM PENZ13    22 pts    NA    BMW    BMW MOTORRAD France TEAM PENZ13 6 National Motos    22 pts    NA    HONDA    National Motos 7  Team April Moto/Motors Events    11 pts    NA    SUZUKI    Team April Moto/Motors Events 8 Maco Racing Team    9 pts    NA    YAMAHA    Maco Racing Team 9 Monster Energy Yamaha-YART    9 pts    FRA    YAMAHA    Monster Energy Yamaha-YART 10 Space Moto 37    3 pts    NA    SUZUKI    Space Moto 37 11 Motobox Kremer Racing    1 pts    NA    SUZUKI    Motobox Kremer Racing For more information: www.hondaracingcbr.com