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Aug 16, 2017

The Yamaha Factory Racing Team crowded the top step of the Suzuka 8 Hours podium for the third consecutive year when it crossed the line first at the 40th anniversary of the event held on Sunday 30 July.

In front of 128,000 spectators, Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam got the holeshot from the event’s Le Mans-style start and while an early three-way battle for the lead between the two top-placed finishers and the Musashi RT Harc-Pro Honda team – which included Aussie Jack Miller, Takumi Takahashi and Takaaki Nakagami – the turning point came when Lowes passed Miller in the circuit’s tricky esses in the second hour. After that the team was never headed.

That’s the Spirit

Launched following the tragic death of endurance racer Anthony Delhalle earlier this year, the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy is awarded at the end of each WEC round to any team or rider, whether amateur or factory-backed, who does something remarkable during the race. The Yoshimura Suzuki team made up of Aussie Josh Brookes, Sylvain Guintoli and Takuya Tsuda picked up the gong at Suzuka after their gallant fightback from a crash early in the race. The team, which qualified in third place, found themselves down in 60th place at the end of the first hour. By the end of the second it had gained 25 positions and by the end of the third hour they sat in 28th overall. At the halfway mark, the trio were placed 19th and kept on digging until the eight-hour chequered flag where they placed a very credible seventh.