Suzuki challenge for more pit tactics and hot bikes
THE Suzuki 4:8:12 Endurance Racing Series was such a success that the importer of Suzuki Motorcycles has renewed its sponsorship for 2016.
“We are challenging all manufacturers and riders on all kinds of street and circuit racing bikes to join the series. Just because it is sponsored by Suzuki, doesn’t mean you have to race a Suzuki,” said Stuart Baker, national sales manager of Suzuki Motorcycles.
On top of the sponsorship announcement, Suzuki also confirmed that the trial of running the new Relay category proved extremely popular and will now become a permanent feature for the 2016 series.
“In this new category a team enters three to five riders and bikes, racing in a relay format as opposed to a single bike with different riders,” said Baker. “That means friendships should stay intact in any unfortunate event, and each rider will be responsible for his or her own bike as opposed to one team member taking the risk of sharing a bike with other riders,” he explained.
The 2015 series ended at the Red Star Raceway in Delmas on October 10, with the third leg of the four-hour, eight-hour, 12-hour endurance series, with Suzuki teams and motorcycles this time taking the honours among entries that included Hondas, Ducatis, BMWs, Kawasakis and a Triumph.
Last time out at Red Star was during a cold spell in June and the riders welcomed the fact that they had to wear thick leather suits, but the second outing saw a heat wave and some sizzling racing, with the eventual winners of the 12-hour event putting in over 300 laps of the demanding circuit.
And if the heat and 12 hours in the saddle did not offer a big enough challenge, the racing direction was reversed from the regular anti-clockwise direction also used in the four-hour and eight-hour events, completely changing the look and feel of the circuit.
Pit tactics played a huge role. “We had to change tyres and brake pads during the 12 hours, but the bikes never cooled down,” said Baker.
The 12-hour was won by Uncle Andy Racing on a Suzuki GSXR 750 (316 laps; winning the Pro Class), with the RSR Stars on a Suzuki GSXR 1000 (293 laps; winners of the Club Class) in second place, proving that the biggest machine was not necessarily the fastest. “It’s all about the number of laps — not how fast, but how smooth and how long you can make the tyres last,” explained Baker, adding that the teams had to adhere to compulsory pit stops every 45 minutes anyway.
Bike Addicts Team A on a Honda CBR 600 came home in third place overall, winning the Rookie Class in 290 Laps. One of the great success stories of the event, was that of the Suzuki Dealer Invitational Team on a GSR 750 that not only completed the full 12 hours of racing, but competed as a team who had only been formed on Friday afternoon.
Five dealers from across SA raced for the first time — doing 252 laps on a GSR 750 to end well within the Top 10.
The 2016 series will again be for teams with a minimum of three and a maximum of five riders who can enter any bike of their choice. “There are absolutely no restrictions,” said Baker. The main prize is a fully sponsored Suzuki GSX750R prepared by Õdin Racing.
National Sales Manager of Suzuki Motorcycles “In this new category a team enters three to five riders and bikes, racing in a relay format as opposed to a single bike with different riders.”
Suzuki has put out the challenge for more day-night racing next year, with all drivers on all bikes welcome to race 12 hours for the main prize — a Suzuki GSX750R.