The 2009 World Endurance Championship continued with round 4 at Suzuka Circuit, Japan on July 26th, a race which, for the Japanese people is the most important race of the year.
The Japanese motorcycle industry focuses on this event at Suzuka, and the machine and rider line up reflects this interest. Many fast Japanese riders, with a lot of experience at this very difficult circuit, make this race very hard for the European permanent teams. This year only three European teams made the journey to Japan, and BK Maco Racing Team were among them.
The meeting started unhappily for the BK Maco Team, with Victor Carrasco falling at the hairpin on the third lap of practice, breaking his wrist. This left Jason Pridmore and Dani Ribalta only for the race.
57 teams took the starting grid, BK Maco in 37th place, Ribalta started the race. Dani made good progress in the first hour, pitting in 19th place. Jason had moved the team into 13th place after two hours, when the rain arrived. Pit stops were good throughout the race and the bike gave no problems despite the terrible and demanding conditions.
The heavy rain caused the Safety Car to be used four times during the race for a period of over 1 hour. Tyre choice was crucial, as the track dried only to be soaked again by another downpour, and the team performed well, holding 10th place after 3 hours, the riders proving their quality once again. Both riders set lap times in the race faster than their qualifying best. At the finish of the race BK Maco Racing held 11th place, a fantastic result for the team. Six World Championship points were gained, moving the team up to 7th place in the World Championship, and filling all the team with great optimism for the last two races of the season.
Martin Kuzma, Team Owner:
„The meeting in Suzuka didn’t start well for us, but this time it finished very well. This was one of the most difficult Suzuka 8 Hours ever, and I am glad we did it successfully. The performance of both riders was excellent but I have to mention the fantastic condition of Jason following the injuries he sustained in April at Le Mans. The whole team has worked with no mistakes and I am happy that this year I can enjoy the work of my staff and I am grateful to all those who have participated at Suzuka.
I want to express a big thank you to Yamaha Motor Company for their help and I believe we have pleased them with our performance. The race in Japan has confirmed our ambitions to finish the championship in the top five are real and we will do our best to make it true.“