Though I am an avid fan of MotoGP, World SBK and just recently the British Superbike Championship (BSB) I confessed I have never watched any endurance race on television before, not to mentioned live and Suzuka 8Hours race has been an eye opening experience for me, really.
The experience I had with Suzuka 8 Hours has definitely been an exciting one and is also something very new for me. The endurance format especially the countdown to starting is something different. The atmosphere sparks a huge contrast from the traditional MotoGP start.
Motorcycle racing is not easy and it is physically demanding for the racers but Suzuka 8Hours carved a whole new meaning of physically demanding for me. Although there were 3 riders in each team, it was still not an easy task to race because under the hot and sweltering Japanese summer sun the riders had to be super super fit! I was in shocked when I saw some riders collapsed after the pit stop.
Back in Malaysia, I am a frequent face in Sepang Circuit and given the opportunity to visit Suzuka Circuit has changed my perspective about good circuit management. Everything is just perfect in Suzuka Circuit, from ticketing experience to answering nature’s call.
Clear signage are place everywhere in the circuit and instead of raking in much profit from spectators, circuit management actually sells food and beverages at very reasonable prices. Everything you need is available in the circuit. Best of all, you can even get married in front of thousands of spectators during a major race.
Truly, every motorcycle fan must experience Suzuka 8Hours at least once in their lifetime. Although FIM has four rounds of Endurance race worldwide, Suzuka 8Hours is proven to be the most physically demanding for all racers. This is why FIM has decided to make Suzuka 8Hours the last leg of the four endurance races from 2017 onwards.
As that was my first time visiting Japan, the entire experience has been way above my expectations. I have heard so much about Japan and that trip truly gave me a much better understanding of Japanese cultures, customs and their way of life.
Although I was worried at first as I cannot speak a word of Japanese, except, for maybe "arigato" but I had my smartphone and google maps with me. Seriously, that was all I needed then in Japan.
The Japanese discipline towards their work and respect for time is just unbelievable. I remember on my way to Suzuka on Kintetsu line, of the of staff who came out from the control room actually bowed before everybody (although no one paid any heed). He humbly bowed again when he re-entered the control room. That's courtesy for you! I also witnessed that the restaurant managers would kneel down when they speak to their customers. I was even impressed with their spotlessly clean public washrooms.
Wifi is everywhere in Japan and it is available to tourist for free. The people here are friendly, even friendlier than the Koreans. They tired to assist me although we have a language barrier. Japanese cares about the community and that is why one could hardly find rubbish on the floor. Spotting a thrash bin is harder than spotting a 7-11 here.
The government takes tourism seriously and tourists are given special rates for visiting Osaka. If you read Part 4 of my post you'll know what I meant. I was able to visit tourist attractions and board the local subway with one packaged price that actually saved me a substantial sum.
If you asked me if I would return to Suzuka Circuit to watch the race, I’d shout a big YES. I will definitely return to Suzuka Circuit. In fact, now I want to experience MotoGP in Motegi.
If you have read my post from the beginning till now, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading it. To all bikers out there, keep riding and stay safe.
* Please note that the contents are subject to change without prior notice.
* All the prices mentioned here include tax.
* Photos and illustrations used here are just images.