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Who wants to see a MotoGP start like this?

Could you imagine a MotoGP race starting like it will for the Suzuka 8 Hours this weekend?

 

The Suzuka 8 Hours kicks off this weekend in what promises to be another intense tussle between the ‘big four’ Japanese firms of Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki – plus of course BMW, Ducati and Aprilia – as they go nose-to-nose for one of the biggest prizes in motorsport.

Part of the Endurance World Championship, a series rooted in tradition stretching back decades, one of the quirkier traits of this race – and the series as a whole – is how it is started with a sprint from one side of the track to the other. 

A quirk that was used at the four-wheel Le Mans 24 Hours during the early days, the EWC adopts this for an extra bit of fanfare at the beginning, adding a bit of physical element to proceedings and giving rise to some energetic approaches to launching onto the bike… we’re particularly impressed that Randy de Puniet can throw himself over in one swoop!

“It’s an incredible feeling, the most beautiful feeling… but also the worst feeling because there is so much tension,” reveals SRC Kawasaki’s Jeremy Guarnoni. “When you start to run you forget everything!"

The official regulation reads:

“On returning to the grid riders must stop their machine with engine off on their position. Only one mechanic per rider is allowed on the grid to hold the machine. Riders must go immediately in the circle opposite their machine. An official will stand at the front of the grid holding a red flag. 

“Any rider who encounters a problem with his machine on the warm up laps may return to the pit lane and make repairs or change machine. 

“When the safety car has taken up its position, an official at the rear of the grid will wave a green flag. 

The Starter will then instruct the official at the front of the grid, displaying the red flag, to walk to the side of the track. 

“When the flag is waves, each rider will run towards his motorcycle, start the engine alone (no outside assistance allowed) and start the race. When a rider is using an airbag within his leather suit, a second person is permitted behind the motorcycle to connect the wire to the rear body work). 

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