The Honda Endurance Racing team have finished the 2017-2018 FIM Endurance World Championship in third place today, wrapping up the season in style at the Suzuka 8 Hours. The result marks the team’s highest finish to date in the endurance championship.
Hosting the fifth and final round of the EWC series, the Honda-owned Suzuka circuit in Japan was the perfect backdrop, as Honda’s endurance specialists looked to finish the season on a high. However, as the eight-hour race got away, challenging conditions greeted the team and the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
It was Yonny Hernadez who started the race for the team in their qualifying position of 18th place. As the lights went out heavy rain started to fall over the 5.821-km circuit, however Hernandez took the wet conditions in his stride and worked through the field and into 11th position.
Working in rotation across the race Hernandez, along with Honda’s endurance regulars Sébastien Gimbert and Erwan Nigon, all masterfully handled the CBR in the challenging conditions, where race strategy played such a huge part with the changing weather.
Pushing hard and completing 194 laps, in a highly competitive race, the Honda Endurance Racing team crossed the line in ninth place and were the third European team to finish within their usual EWC rivals.
It has been a superb season for the team aboard the Fireblade, who have fought hard in the EWC series and enjoyed podiums at both 24-hour races, the Bol d’Or finishing third and taking second-place at the gruelling 24 Heures Motos.