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  1. ITV Report

Rea says ‘common sense prevailed’ at Suzuka 8 Hours

Jonathan Rea could hardly believe the twists and turns that led to victory at the Suzuka 8 Hours race in Japan. Credit: UTV

Northern Ireland race ace Jonathan Rea says common sense prevailed to award him and his Kawasaki teammates the win at the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance World Championship in Japan.

Chaos ensued on Sunday when Rea came off his bike after hitting oil from a SERT Suzuki on the track late in the race.

He had held a 20-second lead on the rest of the pack at the time, having taken over from teammate Leon Haslam for the final stint.

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The dramatic turn of events triggered a red flag and ended the race prematurely, but confusion over the rules initially saw the Yamaha team declared the winners.

A protest followed, with Kawasaki arguing that the result should be taken from the last completed lap before the flag.

They also held that they should not be penalised for failing to make it back to the pits inside five minutes as that rule applies in WSBK and MotoGP, but not in the EWC.

While the Yamaha team were presented with the trophy on the podium, the decision was eventually turned on its head and the victory awarded to the Kawasaki team and riders Rea, Haslam and reserve rider Toprak Razgatlioglu.

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However, as Rea recounted, he only found out the news later that evening as he sat down to dinner.

“From being dejected and feeling that everything was out of our hands, I had already gone back to the hotel, said goodbye to all the guys, with lots of tears,” he said.

“I was in the restaurant already, ordering dinner, when my mechanic Uri called me and said: ‘Hey, are you sitting down?’ I thought he was going to ask me to go to another restaurant - but he then told me we had won the 8 Hours.”

I think common sense prevailed in that one.

I have no words because I am really emotional and happy …

During the race, it’s like hell - the hardest race you can ever imagine. But getting a result like this almost makes me want to come back for more. The emotional roller coaster is unreal.

– Jonathan Rea

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