BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Suzuka, Japan, 27/04/2016, FIM Endurance World Championship All Japan Road Race Championship
The winter break has now officially ended for the Superbike racers in Japan: The MFJ Superbike All Japan Road Race Championship (MFJ) kicked off the new season in Suzuka last weekend. The first race of the year was also the heat and chance to qualify for the endurance classic, the “Suzuka 8 Hours”, which will be held at the end of July as the third race in the 2016 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC).
The number of competitors was correspondingly high: 81 bikes entered for the race in Suzuka. The field consisted of teams registered in the MFJ as well as those teams who need to qualify for the eight-hour race.
There were no fewer than eight BMW S 1000 RRs among the 81 bikes – more than ever before. The BMW Motorrad Motorsport family continues to grow in Japan.
The number of participants in the “Suzuka 8 Hours”, which is the most important race of all for the Japanese manufacturers, has been restricted to 70 this year. Forty of these starting spots are reserved for teams registered for the EWC as well as the top teams from last year’s eight-hour race. Twenty additional teams need to qualify at events such as the MFJ season opener in Suzuka, with the remaining ten starting spots being awarded by the organiser.
Five of the BMW teams who raced in Suzuka have already secured their spots in the endurance classic. The teams Rosetta Motorrad39 (#39 BMW S 1000 RR) and Team Tras 135HP (#135 BMW S 1000 RR) have already prequalified thanks to their results in 2015.
Now the teams Motorrad Rennsport (#19), SYNCEDGE 4413 Racing (#14) and VITAL SPIRIT SAKURA ADVANCE (#73) also secured their spots in the starting field in Suzuka. The other teams, Rosetta Motorrad39 KOREA (#35) and the team Active Link Tio Verity (#88 and #89) represented by two RRs, also have the chance to qualify at the Suzuka Road Race at the beginning of May.
In view of the “Suzuka 8 Hours”, the opening race of the MFJ was scheduled as an endurance race covering 200 kilometres (35 laps). Not all 81 bikes were allowed to start, the number of competitors was limited to 55. These spots were awarded in qualifying, and seven of the eight BMW S 1000 RR made it into the starting line-up of the race.
However, it wasn’t possible to complete the full distance since the race had to be abandoned on lap 30 after an accident. The standings after 29 laps were used to determine the final result.
Daisaku Sakai on the Rosetta Motorrad39 #39 BMW S 1000 RR finished in 14th place, while Koji Teramoto (Motorrad Rennsport) finished 17th. Shinya Takeishi and Takahiro Sowa took it in turns on the SYNCEDGE 4413 Racing RR. They finished 24th. The VITAL SPIRIT SAKURA ADVANCE team claimed 28th with riders Sano and Tsujimoto. Yuuta Kodama finished in 30th on the Team Tras 135HP RR. The Rosetta Motorrad39 KOREA #35 RR was classified in 38th, and the Active Link Tio Verity #89 RR was ranked 47th.