At the culmination of the 8-hours of Doha, the Honda TT Legends ended with a fantastic third place to earn the team their first podium in the Endurance World Championship. The achievement marks a successful end to a week that has also seen a string of triumphs at the Isle of Man TT for regular team members on duty at their namesake event.
Stand-in riders Michael Laverty, Jason O’Halloran and Ryuichi Kiyonari rode a faultless race from start to finish with ultra-consistent lap times throughout. The 2012 ABS-equipped CBR1000RR and the slick Honda TT Legends pit stop crew did not miss a beat; a change of rear break calipers all that was needed to complete the 8-hour duration.
In the top-five from the early stages, the Honda TT Legends climbed as high as second before settling into third position as the race progressed. A late charge from reigning World Champions SERT was repelled to cement a place on the podium as the chequered flag dropped against a backdrop of the Qatar night sky.
Russell Benney, Race Manager For me this result is a culmination of all our hard work over the past season and the start of this season. The team has progressed so far in such a short space of time and this result is a reward for all the hours we have put in. Our stand-in riders did a fantastic job and combined with the success that our regular riders have had over at the Isle of Man TT, this week has been such a great one for Honda and the Honda TT Legends.
Michael Laverty This was my first endurance race and it has given me such an appreciation for what a tough discipline of motorcycle racing it really is. I have enjoyed every minute of it and it is such a good feeling to bring it home on the podium. I felt we were getting stronger and stronger as the race went on, with every minute on the bike, perhaps if it was a 24hr race we would have got even closer to winning it! But in all seriousness this has been a great experience and I just want to say thanks to the team for the opportunity.
Jason O’Halloran I just want to say thanks for asking me to come and ride this bike for such a great team. Kiyo and Michael both did a fantastic job and I think we really worked well as a team to achieve this result. The race went exactly as planned and with no real drama. I was actually expecting to feel more fatigued at the end but I still feel pretty fresh. It was su ch an honour to bring it over the line at the end and to give the team a podium.
Ryuichi Kiyonari I did struggle to start with getting used to the conditions and a new machine but once I was in the race, things started to click and I found a rhythm that I was comfortable with and started posting my quickest times of the weekend. The race has taken a lot out of me and I am very tired now but of course happy with the result. And with a new baby girl waiting back at home for me in Japan this has been a perfect weekend.