Yamaha Factory Racing Team has won the Suzuka 8 Hours for the second consecutive year. Pol Espargaró, Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Alex Lowes steered the Yamaha #21 to victory, ahead of Kawasaki’s factory Team Green and Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance.
As in 2015, Yamaha Factory Racing Team swept the board at the Suzuka 8 Hours, claiming both pole position and a win. Pol Espargaró, Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Alex Lowes led the race for practically all of the 218 laps.
Ryuichi Kiyonari, who got off to a brilliant start in the saddle of Team Kagayama’s Suzuki, was the only one to briefly wrest the lead out of their grasp. Head and shoulders above the others with a fastest lap of 2’08.411, Yamaha Factory Racing Team widened the gap with the other potential winners as the hours slipped by.
Second past the finish line, Team Green ran a superb race with riders Akira Yanagawa, Leon Haslam and Kazuki Watanabe. Team Green and Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance waged a heated battle for the second step of the podium in the final few hours of the race, but Team Green managed to turn the duel to its advantage. 2009 was the last time there was a Kawasaki on the Suzuka 8 Hours podium.
Musashi RT Harc-Pro was missing from the roll call of favourites. The Honda #634 had to withdraw because of engine failure while WSBK rider, Nicky Hayden was on board.