Josh Waters brought home the Moto Map Supply GSX-R1000 in fifth place, the first 17-inch Bridgestone runner across the line at the prestigious event.
After a tumultuous season in British Superbike last year, Waters has been spending 2016 mostly away from racing, that time out of the saddle has clearly not dulled his mastery of the throttle and his chances of scoring a competitive ride for 2017 have increased markedly off the back of this excellent result.
“It was awesome to finish in the top five at the Suzuka 8 hours!
“We were the first privateer non-factory team and Bridgestone’s top 17-inch team, as the size all of the factory Bridgestone bikes are of the same much more developen 16.5-inch diameter rubber that Bridgestone ran in MotoGP, so that was another feather in our cap, so to speak.
“I was very lucky to be working with some great people, and I feel we did a great job with the equipment we had, which was actually a lot like the sort of gear we used to run on my championship winning bikes back home.
“I was happy with how I rode. In my first stint moving us up inside the top six from outside the top ten, and was very happy with my pace in the tough conditions.
“We only got to do one test before the race, as the second test was too close to my wife giving birth to out new little baby!
“It was great to enjoy racing again and it really makes me want to race more.
“It was great to team up with my good friend Nobu Aoki again. We get on really well and the weekend was a lot of fun.
“My other team mate Konno was a good bloke too.
“All in all the team were really happy and so were all our sponsors and Suzuki to be in the top five in such a tough and prestigious race.”
Suzuka 8 Hour 2016 Results
#21 Yamaha Factory Racing Nakasuga/Espargaro/Lowes 218 laps
#87 Team Green Yanagawa/Haslam/Watanabe +2m 17.883s
#12 Yoshimura Suzuki Tsuda/Brookes/Haga +1 lap
#7 YART Yamaha EWC Team Parkes/Nozane/Fujita +4 laps
#32 Moto Map Suzuki Waters/Aoki/Konno +4 laps
#17 Kagayama Suzuki Kagayama/Uramoto/Kiyonari +5 laps
#01 Eva RT Kawasaki Deguchi/Izutsu/Nigon +5 laps
#22 SatuHati Honda Team Asia Pratama/Wilairot/Zaidi +6 laps
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