Suzuka 4 Hours

  • A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND Wins Red-flagged Suzuka 4 Hours

    A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND (Piyawat Patoomyos / Muklada Sarapuech) led the chaotic Suzuka 4 Hours Endurance Race as it was red-flagged due to heavy rain and numerous crashes, and was declared race winner.


Report

A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND Wins Red-flagged Suzuka 4 Hours

SUZUKA Circuit, Japan, July 27, 2019

Since 2017 the Suzuka 4 Hours Endurance Race (Suzuka 4 Hours) has been staged as a semi-international race. Riders with international and Japan-domestic licenses compete in the event, and in recent years, Asian riders have been showing their skills. Astra Honda Racing Team (#7) fro Indonesia won their debut race in 2013, and again in 2016, and returned as one of this year's favorites. 2016 winner IRFAN ARDIANSYAH paired up with Lucky Hendriansya. The two riders are teammates in the Asian Road Racing Championship (ARRC) AP250 class. Another contender was A.P.Honda Racing Thailand (#149), entrants since 2016. Team rider Piyawat Patoomyos returned this year to be joined by Muklada Sarapuech, her first time at the 4 hour race. Goshi Racing (#54, Chisato Katayama / Karen Ogura) also attracted attention as a ladies team.

Qualifying on July 26 resulted in A.P.Honda Racing Thailand (Sarapuech / Patoomyos) 2nd,  Astra Honda Racing Team (ARDIANSYAH / Hendriansya) 3rd, and GOSHI Racing (Katayama / Ogura) 6th on the grid.

The morning of the 27th saw a wet track with intermittent rain and strong winds. The Yamaha of Otojiro Tanimoto / Hiroshi Fukui commanded the opening lap, ahead of Ardiansyah and Sarapuech. On Lap 2, Sarapuech moved up to 2nd, and at the final chicane, took the lead. Sarapuech, Tanimoto and Ardiansyah formed to lead group, pulling away from the other riders.

A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND(#149), ASTRA HONDA RACING TEAM(#7)

A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND(#149), ASTRA HONDA RACING TEAM(#7)

On Lap 4, Ardiansyah moved up to 2nd. On Lap 6, Tanimoto retook the lead in a heated battle with Sarapuech 2nd and Ardiansyah 3rd. The top riders started to lap the slowest on the track on Lap 8, and two laps later, rain started falling. On Lap 12, Tanimoto led Ardiansyah and Sarapuech, but three laps later Sarapuech moved ahead, and on Lap 18, Ardiansyah tumbled at the 130R.

One hour into the race, the rain stopped and the sky began to clear. Sarapuech handed his A.P.Honda Racing Thailand bike to Patoomyos, who was back on the track with their lead intact. Fukui (Yamaha) was 2nd at this stage. By Lap 30, Patoomyos had increased the gap with Fukui to 42 seconds, showing no sign of slowing. Ogura moved up to 4th by this time.

At the two hour mark, A.P.Honda Racing Thailand (Sarapuech / Patoomyos) still maintained their lead, with Yamaha (Tanimoto / Fukui) 2nd and Yamaha (Seiji Yasutomi / Satoshi Masuda) 3rd. Rain started to pour heavily. With teams completing their second rider changes, the race entered its second half. Sarapuech was in front by two laps ahead of Taniguchi, continuing to build a more and more commanding lead. Yasutomi moved up to 2nd, but crashed at the 130R, and with other riders following suit, the red flag was waved at 11:40 am, stopping the race. The rain was relentless, putting an end to the race.

A.P.Honda Racing Thailand (Sarapuech / Patoomyos) was declared winner, making Sarapuech the first female rider to win the event. The Kawasaki of Sohei Uegaki / Syouma Hashiguchi was 2nd, and the Honda of AUTO LIFE HANO & A-PLAN + Run Run (Shinichi Hano / Takashi Fukuda) was 3rd, its two riders in their forties on the podium for the first time, riding a revival bike.GOSHI Racing (Katayama / Ogura) finished 5th overall, 3rd in the Japan-domestic license class. The Japanese ladies team of Ogura and Katayama on the podium were barely adults, 20 and 19 years old, respectively. The two riders vowed to return next year, this time to win.

A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND

A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND

More

Comments

Muklada Sarapuech | A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND (#149)

"The Suzuka 4 Hours is a hard race. This is the third time A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND is racing in the Suzuka 4 Hours, and our aim was of course to win. I'm so happy we realized our goal. Today's race was really fun. I'm also proud that I became the first female rider in the history of the Suzuka 4 Hours to win. A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND gave me the chance, and I'm glad they put their trust in me. Every female rider who wants to win the Suzuka 4 Hours has to put in a lot of work to realize their dream. I hope they do so. I've always worked hard to win. Everyone put in a lot of work to come this far. I'm so glad that I could realize my goals from way back to win."

Piyawat Patoomyos | A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND (#149)

"I raced here last year, so this is my second Suzuka 4 Hours. I'm grateful to A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND. I'm also grateful for all the fans from Thailand who supported us. The team gave everything they had, which led us to victory in the Suzuka 4 Hours. I'm simply overjoyed. The biggest advantage is that I had great teammates. We could win because I raced with Muklada."

Results

2019 Suzuka 4 Hours Endurance Road Racing Race

Rank No. Team Machine Laps
1 149 A.P.HONDA RACING THAILAND Honda 62
2 69 Green Club NOZUKA Kawasaki 60
3 13 Auto life HANO & A-PLAN + RANRAN Honda 60
4 445 SMF&Silk Racing with JINIASU Honda 60
5 54 GOSHI Racing Honda 60
6 23 HEKINAN ST FACTORY+DOG HOUSE Yamaha 60
7 9 Honda Dream SETAGAYA RT&MOTO WIN RACING 1 Honda 60
8 32 YSP HAMAMATSU&Hirano Toso+TokaikoukajidousyaDaigaku Yamaha 59
9 36 YAMAHA Indonesia & ITO Racing Yamaha 59
10 199 CHIBA ICHIKAWA Lapartenza ADF+RANRAN!! Honda 59
11 44 Team SUGAI Racing Club Honda 59
13 30 AKAI 3rinsya Racing Club Honda 59
17 78 Honda BLUE HELMET MSC Honda 59
24 101 Blue Point IGA II RINKAI D Honda 57
25 33 Team F.C.C. Honda 57
39 24 TSUZUKI SEISAKUJO & Honda Dream TOUMI Honda 50
40 111 Honda KOYOKAI Dream Racing Team Honda 49
41 31 MKR&SRR+PG Racing with ADF Honda 48
43 52 Honda Dream SETAGAYA RT&MOTO WIN RACING 2 Honda 46
RT 7 ASTRA HONDA RACING TEAM Honda 43

Photos