Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam had left the track and was sitting down to dinner when the news came through that he, Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu has won the Suzuka Eight-Hours after all.
Confusion over the rules had first given the win to Yamaha when Rea crashed on Suzuki oil but the result was eventually given to the Kawasaki team, and Haslam revealed he had ridden his stints with a broken bone in his hand which was the result of a crash at Laguna Seca.
“From everyone being in tears to getting the news sitting in a restaurant that we actually did win it, I have no words to describe how I feel. The Suzuka Eight-Hours is always one of the hardest races of the year,” said Haslam.
The effort we put in to win, from us, the team and Kawasaki means it has been a big roller coaster of emotion. When the oil went down and the situation happened at the end; words cannot describe the lows we had. But when the good news came through, the highs were just as high.
“In the second half of each stint I really struggled physically but the bike was working well. I am so happy and I want to thank Kawasaki for this opportunity; also the whole team, Toprak and Johnny, and we pushed as hard as we could. It is a shame that we did not get to stand on the top of the podium but the result is in and we have won the Suzuka Eight-Hours.”