MotoGP riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro win Suzuka 8 Hours

MotoGP riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro helped Yamaha to victory in the Suzuka 8 Hours for the first time since 1996

MotoGP riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro win Suzuka 8 Hours

The two Tech 3 MotoGP riders joined forces with Katsuyuki Nakasuga to win the race for the factory Yamaha squad, leading home the FCC TSR Honda of Josh Hook, Dominique Aegerter and Kyle Smith, which was the only other bike still on the lead lap at the finish.

The winning Yamaha crew had a relatively straightforward race, although Nakasuga made a slow start as the bike failed to fire-up and fell to 10th, recovering to third by the end of the first hour.

After that, its main setback came in the form of a stop/go penalty given to Espargaro for overtaking under yellow flags, which Smith had to serve during his stint.

That allowed Aegerter into the lead on the Honda, but Smith was able to retake the lead on track, with the bikes only swapping positions due to pit strategy after that.

"We managed to exploit all the potential of the bike and the whole team deserves this win," said Smith.

"We were under a lot of pressure, but we showed a united front, and Pol and Katsuyuki were really fast."

Ex-MotoGP rider Casey Stoner's race came to a dramatic end in the second hour when he crashed at the hairpin due to a stuck throttle, suffering a broken right shoulder blade and fractured left tibia.

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