Tamada to spearhead Satu HATI. Honda Team Asia at Suzuka 8 Hours
Makoto Tamada will spearhead the #22 Satu HATI. Honda Team Asia squad at the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours this year, making it his second consecutive year to participate as Team Manager.
“Satu HATI.”, an addition to the team name this year, means “One HEART.” It is the slogan of Astra Honda Motor of Indonesia, symbolizing the hearts and pride of the Indonesian people, when their dream comes true in the spirit of togetherness.
Satu HATI. Honda Team Asia will be in its 4th year to race at the Suzuka 8 Hours. The team has been planning to make an “All-Asia” team this year with Zamri Baba (Malaysia) and Ekky Pratama (Indonesia), who both have raced with the team last year, in addition to former Asia Dream Cup rider, Jakkrit Sawangswat (Thailand), who have shown speed in the Supersports 600 as riders. However, the accident at the 2nd round of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) made this combination impossible. However, there are many other top Honda riders in Asia, and candidates included Yuki Takahashi and Takaaki Nakagami.
The final decision was made and the riders this year will be Moto2 rider, Azlan Shah Kamaruzama (Malaysia), Ratthapong Wilairot (Thailand), along with Indonesia’s ace rider Dimas. Azlan has been teammates with Tamada in both the ARRC and the Suzuka 8 Hours, and this will be his 3rd appearance. This will be the 2nd consecutive year for Dimas. This will be the first time for Ratthapong to race in the Suzuka 8 Hours. Tamada is working with his team, AP Honda, this year as rider adviser.
With this “All-Asia” allstar team, Honda Team Asia will aim for a higher result than last year, which was 7th place.
The 2015 FIM Endurance World Championship Series Round 2
The 38th “Coca-Cola Zero” Suzuka 8hours FIM Endurance World Championship is scheduled to be held from July 23rd to the 26th at Suzuka Circuit in Mie, Japan.
Team Name: Satu HATI. Honda Team Asia
Entry Number: #22
Riders: Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Malaysia)
Dimas Ekky Pratama (Indonesia)
Ratthapong Wilairot (Thailand)
Team Manager: Makoto Tamada
Machine: Honda CBR1000RR
“Everything was the first time for me last year, but the riders showed great effort and we were able to finish 7th, which was higher than what we aimed for. Since this is my 2nd year as team manager, I want to finish higher than last year. I know that Azlan, Dimas, and Ratthapong are all fast riders, so I am planning to make a solid race strategy for them to finish in good results.”
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman
“I’m very happy to be back for the Suzuka 8 Hours. As a replacement for zamri, I will make this race for him.Thank you Honda for giving me the opportunity to race in Suzuka again.”
Dimas Ekky Pratama
“Thanks to Honda for giving me this opportunity to join the Suzuka 8 Hours Race again this year. I will try my best to get good result. I pray to Zamri for him to wake up soon and a fast recovery for Fadli.”
“I feel very happy that I will join the Suzuka 8 hours. It’s the first time for me and I want to thank A.P. Honda and Honda Team Asia for giving me this opportunity. I will try to do my best for the good result.”