Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea believes today’s reversal of the decision to award the Suzuka Eight-Hours win to Yamaha was a victory for common sense but the WorldSBK champ didn’t know he had won until he had sat down to dinner.
Rea had fallen on oil spilled by the SERT team with only three minutes of the race left - which Kawasaki were leading by 20-odd seconds - and confusion over the rules meant it went to the Yamaha team only for a protest to see it awarded to Kawasaki.
“I cannot believe what is happening really. From being dejected and feeling that everything was out of our hands, I had already gone back to the hotel, said goodbye to all the guys, with lots of tears,” said Rea.
“I was in the restaurant already, ordering dinner, when my mechanic Uri called me and said, ‘Hey, are you sitting down?’ I thought he was going to ask me to go to another restaurant - but he then told me we had won the Eight-Hours.
I think common sense prevailed in that one. I have no words because I am really emotional and happy. The strategy was to work on fuel consumption and race consistency and make no mistakes. I feel we executed that quite well although I got quite tired and cramped at the end.
“But we prepared the best way possible with the limited time we had. I am so proud to be part of the project and what an effort from KRT, KHI, KMJ who prepared for this race in two tests. During the race it is like hell, the hardest race you can ever imagine, but getting a result like this almost makes me want to come back for more. The emotional roller coaster is unreal.”