2015-07-26T00:00:00+02:00July 26th, 2015|Suzuka 8 Hours 2015|

Gilles Stafler, team manager of SRC Kawasaki, whose team is taking part in the Suzuka 8 Hours for the first time, talks about the specificities of the race.

When we race in Europe there are five teams; here in Suzuka, there are twenty! They all have amazing equipment. Even the satellite teams have top level machines, kitted out like factory bikes. The Team Green bike is practically a Superbike machine. And don’t forget that all these teams compete only in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with equipment geared specifically to this race.

Our big handicap here is the system they’ve set up for the grid positions. Since qualifying is divided into two groups, there’s an element of luck at play. A draw is held to decide which teams get assigned to which group, and we didn’t get lucky. Their grid positions system is very complicated. It doesn’t take into account the quantity and quality of work we’ve put in all week long. We’re having to work very differently here. For example, for the qualifying sessions we set up the bike for just one rider – Grégory Leblanc. For the Saturday afternoon practice sessions, we’ll be modifying the setup so all three riders are happy with it.