Belfast Telegraph

Crash leaves Rea in total dismay

By Roy Harris

Jonathan Rea's hopes of winning the gruelling Suzuka 8-hour race in Japan for a second year in succession disappeared when his FCC TSR Honda team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari crashed uninjured whilst leading in the third hour of the Endurance World Championship race.

The damage to the machine was deemed to severe to continue and Rea lamented: "I am gutted. Everything had been going according to plan and we had been flying until Kiyo's crash, I'm just devastated."

Kiyo had started the race for the team and had settled into second position by the first refuelling stop where Rea took over at the controls. Posting a series of quick laps during his first stint Rea took the team into the lead in the race, 90 minutes in.

At the beginning of the third hour, however, with Kiyo back on board, the former British Superbike champion crashed, putting the team out of the race.

The race was won for a second year running by a British rider, Rea's Pata Honda WSB team mate, Leon Haslam riding alongside Japanese and Dutch riders for Musashi Honda.

Second place in the race, a lap down, was the Yoshimura Suzuki team that had Tyco Suzuki BSB rider Josh Brookes riding alongside two Japanese riders.

The TT Honda Legends team of John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and Simon Andrews were forced to make a pit stop to replace the clutch in the second hour, but fought back from 49th position to finish the race in 22nd.

Rea and Haslam now return to the UK for the ninth round of the WSB championship at Silverstone this Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph

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