Team Suzuki Press Office – April 9.
Kazuki Watanabe: Yoshimura SERT Motul GSX-R1000R – 3rd/ 2nd.
Yoshimura SERT Motul test team raced to two podiums at the opening round of 2021 All Japan Superbike Championship on April 3-4th at Motegi as a wildcard entry.
Team rider Kazuki Watanabe missed the official pre-test which a week ago due to self-isolating after returning from the Le Mans Endurance World Championship test in France, and the team raced during Team Director, Yohei Kato’s absence.
Following the disappointing news that the Le Mans 24 Hours race had been cancelled on Saturday morning due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and restrictions in the country, everyone concentrated on their work to set-up the GSX-R1000R and Watanabe did a strong job in qualifying to achieve sensational pole positions in both Race 1 and Race 2.
On Saturday, in Race 1, Watanabe was almost pushed out by other rider and slipped behind. It made it difficult to keep the position in the top group and he finished in third.
On Sunday morning, the team changed the setup before and after the warm-up session and in Race 2, Watanabe got a decent launch off the grid and he protected his position until lap 17. A very aggressive battle with Nakasuga continued until lap 21, but the race was red-flagged due to heavy rain and he was forced to take his second podium with second position.
The test team stayed for two more days in Motegi for testing, spending time for further set-up and Watanabe tested also new materials. The Test was done both in wet and dry conditions and team secured positive results and data.
The test team and Watanabe are aiming further set-up and Yoshimura SERT Motul is racing the second round of the All Japan Superbike Championship on April 24-25th at Suzuka. This wildcard entry will give the team newer data ahead of the final round of EWC 2021 in Suzuka on November 7th.