This year’s event, however, included another challenge: A typhoon was expected to strike the Suzuka area during the race weekend, and it did. The night before the race, torrential rainfall and winds of up to 170 km/h caused significant damage to the infrastructure of the track, but an impressive tour de force from the staff and crew at the track made sure everything was repaired. At 11:30 a.m. local time, the green flag dropped.
The eight-hour endurance battle, which was to end at nightfall, was riddled with rain showers followed by a quickly drying track because of the high temperatures. This meant a lot of riders got into trouble because of the weather, getting caught out in the rain while riding on slick tires. After six hours of racing, no one knew who had the lead. Team Honda, Kawasaki Team green and the Yamaha Factory Racing team were constantly battling for the lead. When night fell and the chequered flag was waved, it was the Yamaha team that came out on top for the fourth consecutive time, confirming their place as kings of Suzuka.