The 2016-2017 FIM Endurance World Championship was decided today as the Suzuka 8 Hours played host to the grand finale of the series. Competition has been high all weekend with permanent EWC teams looking to finish their season on a high, mixed with Japanese local teams wanting to be the Suzuka 8 Hour winners.

The 40th Suzuka 8 Hours marked the end of a mixed season for Honda Endurance Racing, who finished the season overall in 13th place. With highs and lows experienced throughout the season, the team fought hard throughout, and in Slovakia claimed a podium finish in third place.

Honda’s endurance specialists Freddy Foray, Julien Da Costa and Sébastien Gimbert have been in the mix with their ten-permanent EWC rivals all weekend at Suzuka and as the race got underway at 1330 local time, a strong finish was looking positive for the team.

It was Foray who launched the all-new Fireblade from the start line in 26th place and it wasn’t long until the team had broken into the top-20 in 19th place – ahead of the main EWC challenger SERT (22nd). It was Da Costa’s turn after the first pit stop, but his stint didn’t go quite to plan. After being held at the end of pitlane while the safety car was deployed for an incident on track, Da Costa joined a lap down.

On cold tyres after the safety car Da Costa suffered a highside, crashing out of the race. Heroically remounting and riding the Fireblade back to the garage, it was over to the super-speedy Honda crew to get the team back on track. After just two minutes in the garage repairing the damage, Gimbert returned to the race.

With the team now down in 53rd place and Da Costa ruled out for the remainder of the race after knocking his coccyx after the fall, it was down to Foray and Gimbert to bring the Honda Endurance Racing team home. In the next pit stop a headlight had to be changed after getting damaged in the crash and both riders pushed hard moving the team into 41st place.

Disaster struck around the mid-way point as Gimbert returned to the garage unscheduled with a mechanical issue. After 20 minutes in the box the Honda team were away again, but with lost places to recover. Battling through the heat and with only two riders, the Honda team eventually crossed the line in 43rd place after eight hours racing and having completed 193 laps.

The 40th Suzuka 8 Hours saw 68 teams taking part and only ten of which are permanent EWC teams, including Honda Endurance Racing.

The 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship kicks off in September (15th-17th) when all eyes will be on the 24-hour Bol d’Or at Paul Ricard in the South of France.

Freddy  Foray

Freddy Foray 111

You know for sure today’s result has not been ideal, but this is racing and some days you have good results and others are not so good. It is also endurance and anything can happen, when you race for as long as we do and also with the heat here at Suzuka, there can be many outcomes. I am pleased with the progress we have made this year, the team works together well and our pit stops are very fast now. We have a good race strategy and the Fireblade performs well for us, sometimes we just run out of luck. Of course you always want to be winning or on the podium and we did have this at Slovakia, so we have been there this year. We have also shown on many occasions that we can fight and be strong, so you know we have to take it for what it is today.

Honda Endurance Racing
Julien Da Costa

Julien Da Costa 111

I made a mistake and I am sorry to the team for this and also for my team-mates who had to work hard. I could have ridden with the pain, but I land very heavy and it’s touching a nerve so I can’t hold my leg up for riding. So my team-mates had a lot of work in the heat and it was hard to watch and not be able to ride. We did have some problems and we did finish far back. But we have learnt a lot this year and we have some positives to take and also some good data. The team has worked hard for us all year and we work very well together, the pit stops are quick and we do have a very good race strategy, but sometimes you have a bad race.

Honda Endurance Racing
Sébastien Gimbert

Sébastien Gimbert 111

For me I am not happy with the result, of course I always want more and I know that we were capable of a top-15 finish. You cannot help a crash as this is racing, but we did have some issues during the race, which really delayed us. But this is endurance and it is so hard at times and sometimes luck really isn’t on our side. I am happy with how the team has worked, as they work very hard for us with the all-new Fireblade. The CBR is a good machine and we have collected some good data this year, so for now we have to regroup and come back stronger.

Honda Endurance Racing
Jonny Twelvetrees

Jonny Twelvetrees

Team Manager

43rd in the race today is disappointing; we had a strong start and started to make our way up the order. It was unfortunate timing with the safety car that Julien was held up by a lap and then his crash. But the team worked so hard to get the Fireblade repaired and back on track and they were in the garage for two minutes, so full credit to them. We then had a further two issues with the lights and then the mechanical issue, which did delay us further. But I am happy with how we have progressed this season, we have shown superb teamwork within the team and that we can also be competitive with the Fireblade. Slovakia we finished third and we have been strong and closing the gap on our EWC competitors, today was just not our day. We will take back all the data from Suzuka, combine this with what we already have and I know that we will be back stronger for the new EWC season when it kicks off in September at the Bol d’Or.

Honda Endurance Racing
Suzuka 8 Hours

Suzuka Circuit, Japan

FIM EWC 2017, Round 5

Sunday 30 Jul 2017, 12:00 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Laps
1 YAMAHA FACTORY RACING Yamaha 216
2 Kawasaki Team Green Kawasaki 216
3 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda 215
4 MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda 214
5 YART Yamaha Yamaha 212
6 Honda Dream Racing Honda 212
7 Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing Suzuki 212
8 Satu HATI Honda Team Asia Honda 211
9 MotoMapSUPPLY FutureAccess Suzuki 211
10 Honda DREAM RT SAKURAI HONDA Honda 211
43 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 193
Saturday 29 Jul 2017, 08:04 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 YAMAHA FACTORY RACING Yamaha 2'06.038
2 Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing Suzuki 2'06.282
3 Kawasaki Team Green Kawasaki 2'06.381
4 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda 2'06.600
5 MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda 2'06.671
6 YART Yamaha Yamaha 2'07.634
7 Moriwaki Motul Racing Honda 2'08.041
8 Honda Suzuka Racing Team Honda 2'08.178
9 Team KAGAYAMA Suzuki 2'08.616
10 Satu HATI Honda Team Asia Honda 2'09.966
11 S-Pulse Dream Racing Suzuki 2'09.386
12 Honda Dream Racing Honda 2'09.450
13 BMW Motorrad 39 BMW 2'09.574
14 Team SuP Dream Honda Honda 2'09.899
15 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 2'09.950
16 MotoMapSUPPLY FutureAccess Suzuki 2'09.955
17 ITO RACING GMD&REDGRIFFIN Yamaha 2'10.262
18 Honda DREAM RT SAKURAI HONDA Honda 2'10.366
19 Mistresa with ATJ Racing Honda 2'10.508
20 au&Teluru Kohara RT Honda 2'11.070
21 EVA RT WEBIKE Trick Star Kawasaki 2'11.324
22 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 2'11.513
23 teamJP, DFR&RS-ITOH Kawasaki 2'11.755
24 Titanium Power HOOTERS Racing Yamaha 2'11.840
25 AKENO SPEED - YAMAHA Yamaha 2'12.017
26 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 2'12.058
Saturday 29 Jul 2017, 01:58 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda 2'09.731
2 Moriwaki Motul Racing Honda 2'10.537
3 YAMAHA FACTORY RACING Yamaha 2'10.562
4 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda 2'10.570
5 Kawasaki Team Green Kawasaki 2'11.933
6 Satu HATI Honda Team Asia Honda 2'12.073
7 Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing Suzuki 2'12.098
8 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 2'12.315
9 YART Yamaha Yamaha 2'13.074
10 Team KAGAYAMA Suzuki 2'13.380
11 Honda Dream Racing Honda 2'13.698
12 S-Pulse Dream Racing Suzuki 2'13.745
13 EVA RT WEBIKE Trick Star Kawasaki 2'14.283
14 ITO RACING GMD&REDGRIFFIN Yamaha 2'14.361
15 BMW Motorrad 39 BMW 2'14.434
16 MotoMapSUPPLY FutureAccess Suzuki 2'14.444
17 au&Teluru Kohara RT Honda 2'14.862
18 Honda Suzuka Racing Team Honda 2'14.888
19 Team SuP Dream Honda Honda 2'14.936
20 TeamTras135HP Honda 2'15.019
21 JAPAN POST Honda Kumamoto Racing Honda 2'15.440
22 teamJP, DFR&RS-ITOH Kawasaki 2'15.442
23 EKO IVRacing BMW CSEU BMW 2'15.798
24 AKENO SPEED - YAMAHA Yamaha 2'16.026
25 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 2'15.060
26 Team de"LIGHT Ducati 2'16.111
27 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 2'16.400
Friday 28 Jul 2017, 07:11 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Kawasaki Team Green Kawasaki 2'07.703
2 MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda 2'08.133
3 YAMAHA FACTORY RACING Yamaha 2'08.505
4 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda 2'08.878
5 Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing Suzuki 2'08.883
6 Honda Suzuka Racing Team Honda 2'09.395
7 YART Yamaha Yamaha 2'09.474
8 Team KAGAYAMA Suzuki 2'09.580
9 Honda Dream Racing Honda 2'09.883
10 Satu HATI Honda Team Asia Honda 2'09.944
11 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 2'10.366
12 S-Pulse Dream Racing Suzuki 2'10.470
13 Moriwaki Motul Racing Honda 2'10.601
14 Mistresa with ATJ Racing Honda 2'10.948
15 au&Teluru Kohara RT Honda 2'11.090
16 EKO IVRacing BMW CSEU BMW 2'11.141
17 BMW Motorrad 39 BMW 2'11.267
18 EVA RT WEBIKE Trick Star Kawasaki 2'11.273
19 MotoMapSUPPLY FutureAccess Suzuki 2'11.283
20 teamJP, DFR&RS-ITOH Kawasaki 2'11.605
21 Team SuP Dream Honda Honda 2'11.761
22 AKENO SPEED - YAMAHA Yamaha 2'12.060
23 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 2'12.150
24 ITO RACING GMD&REDGRIFFIN Yamaha 2'12.285
25 Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki 2'12.317
26 TeamTras135HP Honda 2'12.345
27 JAPAN POST Honda Kumamoto Racing Honda 2'12.728
28 BMCJ Motorrad Rennsport BMW 2'12.875
29 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 2'13.061
Thursday 27 Jul 2017, 01:12 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda 2'07.756
2 YAMAHA FACTORY RACING Yamaha 2'08.020
3 Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing Suzuki 2'08.321
4 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda 2'08.342
5 Kawasaki Team Green Kawasaki 2'08.430
6 Honda Suzuka Racing Team Honda 2'08.617
7 BMW Motorrad 39 BMW 2'08.926
8 Moriwaki Motul Racing Honda 2'08.938
9 S-Pulse Dream Racing Suzuki 2'09.312
10 YART Yamaha Yamaha 2'09.383
11 Team KAGAYAMA Suzuki 2'09.571
12 Honda DREAM RT SAKURAI HONDA Honda 2'09.586
13 Honda Dream Racing Honda 2'09.838
14 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 2'09.873
15 MotoMapSUPPLY FutureAccess Suzuki 2'10.750
16 ITO RACING GMD&REDGRIFFIN Yamaha 2'10.935
17 Team SuP Dream Honda Honda 2'11.110
18 au&Teluru Kohara RT Honda 2'11.191
19 EVA RT WEBIKE Trick Star Kawasaki 2'11.374
20 AKENO SPEED - YAMAHA Yamaha 2'11.410
21 Satu HATI Honda Team Asia Honda 2'11.423
22 teamJP, DFR&RS-ITOH Kawasaki 2'11.505
23 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 2'11.992
24 Mistresa with ATJ Racing Honda 2'12.034
25 JAPAN POST Honda Kumamoto Racing Honda 2'12.036
26 TEAM FRONTIER Honda 2'12.275
27 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 2'12.371
Thursday 27 Jul 2017, 01:07 UTC
# Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 YAMAHA FACTORY RACING Yamaha 2'07.540
2 MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda 2'08.181
3 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda 2'08.564
4 Kawasaki Team Green Kawasaki 2'08.920
5 Moriwaki Motul Racing Honda 2'09.151
6 Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing Suzuki 2'09.263
7 YART Yamaha Yamaha 2'09.343
8 S-Pulse Dream Racing Suzuki 2'10.343
9 Honda Dream Racing Honda 2'10.468
10 BMW Motorrad 39 BMW 2'10.708
11 au&Teluru Kohara RT Honda 2'10.765
12 Honda DREAM RT SAKURAI HONDA Honda 2'10.798
13 Team KAGAYAMA Suzuki 2'10.931
14 Satu HATI Honda Team Asia Honda 2'10.971
15 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 2'11.415
16 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 2'11.527
17 Team SuP Dream Honda Honda 2'11.563
18 MotoMapSUPPLY FutureAccess Suzuki 2'11.759
19 EVA RT WEBIKE Trick Star Kawasaki 2'11.944
20 ITO RACING GMD&REDGRIFFIN Yamaha 2'12.015
21 Honda Suzuka Racing Team Honda 2'12.096
22 Mistresa with ATJ Racing Honda 2'12.252
23 TEAM FRONTIER Honda 2'12.261
24 BMCJ Motorrad Rennsport BMW 2'12.452
25 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 2'12.942
Team Standings
Sunday, 30 Jul 2017
# Team Constructor Points
1 GMT94 - Yamaha Yamaha 146
2 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki 136.5
3 YART Yamaha Yamaha 130.5
4 F.C.C. TSR Honda Honda 115.5
5 TEAM SRC KAWASAKI Kawasaki 92
6 Maco Racing Team Yamaha 87
7 Yamaha Viltais Experience Yamaha 66
8 Moto Ain CRT Yamaha 65
9 TATI TEAM BEAUJOLAIS RACING Kawasaki 65
10 EVA RT WEBIKE Trick Star Kawasaki 64.5
13 Honda Endurance Racing Honda 42