KAWASAKI News
Sensational Suzuka Second for Team Green
31.07.2017 00:00:00
<div class="l-section inner"> <div class="k-squared k-squared--full"> <div class="text"> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm; margin-bottom: 18.45pt; margin-left: 0cm; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #333333;">The Team Green Kawasaki entry of UK rider Leon Haslam, </span><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif';">Kazuma Watanabe of Japan <span style="color: #333333;">and Malaysian rider, </span>Azlan Shah Bin Kamaruzaman <span style="color: #333333;">achieved a superb second place at the 40<sup>th</sup> running of the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hour Endurance race held in Japan over the weekend of &nbsp;29-30 July.</span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm; margin-bottom: 18.45pt; margin-left: 0cm; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #333333;">Missing the podium by less than one lap after eight hours of endeavour and 216 laps completed, an incredible effort by the trio of riders and their pit crew staff delivered Team Green a popular second place thanks largely to the outstanding efforts of 34 year old World and British Superbike rider, Leon Haslam. </span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm; margin-bottom: 18.45pt; margin-left: 0cm; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #333333;">A Suzuka veteran, Haslam helped the team to achieve a qualifying time that was within a few tenths of the pole sitter and then proceeded to set a blistering early pace.&nbsp; Gaining on Randy De Puniet in the final session, the race looked to be set for another sensational climax. But before Haslam could make a passing manoeuvre, Randy&rsquo;s Honda suddenly caught fire and was forced into the pit lane delivering a secure second place to the Ninja ZX-10RR.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm; margin-bottom: 18.45pt; margin-left: 0cm; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #333333;">With a super-human five riding sessions in a thrill packed race, Haslam finally crossed the line following a physically and mentally draining &ldquo;double stint&rdquo; in the saddle. Maintaining a pace that saw the Team Green Ninja ZX-10RR never lower than&nbsp; fourth pace on the timing sheets at the end of each hour of the gruelling event, a further two Ninja machines were among the top fifteen finishers of a packed entry of 67 teams. </span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm; margin-bottom: 18.45pt; margin-left: 0cm; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #333333;">Commenting, Haslam praised the team and set his sights on improving the team&rsquo;s result: </span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm; margin-bottom: 18.45pt; margin-left: 0cm; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #333333;">&ldquo;With practice and preparation it&rsquo;s been a fantastic few weeks. We had a really good race this year building on the experience of last year and the team were a lot smoother and relaxed which helped a lot. Qualifying was tough but we were only a few tenths off pole so a good place to be at the start of the race. </span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm; margin-bottom: 18.45pt; margin-left: 0cm; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #333333;">The race itself had ups and downs. We got a great start and battled for the lead initially but in one of the other sessions I picked had a frustrating slow puncture. The last session was really tough as I did a double stint meaning that, in all, I was on the bike for 5 of the 8 hours!&nbsp; </span></p> <span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #333333;">It&rsquo;s probably one of the hardest 8 Hours I&rsquo;ve ever ridden but understandably also one of the most rewarding to get back on the podium for Kawasaki. Big thanks to everyone at Team Green and I hope we can work together for next year to go one better and get the win&rdquo;.</span>
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