MIE, Japan, August 7, 2022 - Team HRC (Tetsuta Nagashima / Takumi Takahashi / Iker Lecuona) won the 2022 FIM*1 Endurance World Championship 43rd “Coca Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race (Suzuka 8 Hours) held at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie, on Sunday, August 7. Team HRC’s win marks Honda’s 28th Suzuka 8 Hours victory, the first since 2014.
CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE SP
Team HRC returned to the Suzuka 8 Hours as Honda’s factory team*2 in 2018 after a decade-long absence. The team was second in 2018, and third in 2019.
Team HRC set the fastest lap time in Friday’s timed qualifying sessions, proceeding easily into Saturday’s Top 10 Trial, which was changed to a conventional Top 10 qualifying session at the last minute. Tetsuta Nagashima set the fastest lap time of 2 min 4.934 s to secure pole position for the team.
Takumi Takahashi was Team HRC’s starting rider, and despite losing the lead at the start, regained the top spot on Lap 10. From that point onwards, Tetsuta Nagashima and Iker Lecuona rode solid stints to maintain a comfortable gap with the closest competitor. At 7:32pm, after 214 laps, Team HRC crossed the finish line to win from pole position.
This win marks Takumi Takahashi’s fourth Suzuka 8 Hours win, and a first for Tetsuta Nagashima and Iker Lecuona.
- *1FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
- *2Factory team: Racing team operated by manufacturer
■Tetsuta Nagashima｜Team HRC
“I’m simply happy! I’m glad to have had the opportunity to be involved in developing the CBR1000RR-R SP in 2021 and 2022, realize its potential, and show the world. Honda’s engineers have tested the bike over and over, and were rewarded by our Suzuka 8 Hours victory. I am grateful to be a part of the development, and grew with each test we did. I believe we demonstrated a strong Honda at the first Suzuka 8 Hours in three years.”
■Takumi Takahashi｜Team HRC
“I’ve always been unhappy with the 2019 Suzuka 8 Hours, so I’m glad we won today. I’m relieved that I managed to play my part, as Nagashima developed the bike, and I had to become accustomed to it and bring out its potential, otherwise I would hold him back. This was the first Suzuka 8 Hours for Iker [Lecuona], and he did a great job. The HRC team gave us solid support including pit work. I am grateful to everyone involved. This is my fourth Suzuka 8 Hours victory, and if I get another chance, I will aim for the record of five victories held by Toru Ukawa.”
■Iker Lecuona｜Team HRC
“I am really, really, really happy to win my first Suzuka 8 Hours. It felt amazing when Nagashima was met by the checkered flag. Everything has gone well since the Suzuka tests, the bike developed by Honda and Nagashima was superb, and I think I managed to bring out the performance of the bike. I was worried when the safety car entered the track that I would lose the gap our other two riders had built up, but we got through fine. I am grateful to the best team and my teammates. If I have the opportunity next year, I’d like to be back at Suzuka.“
■Koji Watanabe, Head of Corporate Communications Supervisory Unit, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and President of Honda Racing Corporation
“I am very pleased we won the Suzuka 8 Hours on HRC’s 40th anniversary. Team HRC riders who put on an amazing performance, team staff and everyone involved, thank you. I hope everyone will continue to support HRC, as we will continue to challenge the pinnacle of motorsports for all motorsports fans and our Honda fans.
I sincerely hope F.C.C. TSR Honda France‘s Gino Rea, who is now hospitalized, recovers quickly from his injuries sustained in a crash during yesterday’s practice session.“