Kawasaki boss Guim Roda believes the second safety car in yesterday’s Suzuka Eight-Hours limited his team’s chances of a win and then a slow-speed fall from Jonathan Rea sealed the deal.
Kawasaki was on terms for most of the race with both YART and Yoshimura Suzuki also threatening but the second safety car at the two-h9ur mark cost Kawasaki 40 seconds - an eternity in World Endurance - as it was stuck between them*.
“It has been a very good experience here at Suzuka. Thanks to KMC for trusting in the KRT WorldSBK project to manage the Eight-Hours race. We did it with big support and big help from all the KMC engineers, and we took hundreds of notes where we need to improve,” said Roda.
“Only when you stay in the action can you really learn perfection. Honda did very well, and we have to congratulate them. The second Pace Car appearance threw away the show in this 8 Hours, because for just few seconds we could not pass them to stay in the same slot as Honda. We missed nearly 40 seconds there and then it was impossible to recover the time to Honda given the level they rode at.
“Jonathan’s fall while trying to put pressure on them, when passing two slow riders, finally made us lose all our possibilities. Alex, in fairness, was not in his best shape after his illness. Leon made a great job and added his speed and experience.
“Massive thanks to all the KRT and KMC guys; they made an incredible job. And special thanks to Mr. Nishiyama, KMC Senior Engineer responsible for the WorldSBK project, who made massive efforts. Let’s see if we have second chance in the future.”
*At Suzuka, two safety cars are deployed for an incident as the track is long and there are many bikes strung out along it.