Melissa Paris And Shelina Moreda To Compete In Suzuka 4-Hour Endurance RaceWed, 09 Jul 2014
Moriwaki has announced the launch of a new Women’s team for the Suzuka 4 Hours Endurance Race 2014, that will include two team riders, both from the USA: Melissa Paris and Shelina Moreda. The race will take place on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of July. With Synergy Force Japan as the main sponsor for the project, the two American ladies are just as highly motivated as the team members of Synergy Force Moriwaki Club.
The Suzuka International Racing course is well known as one of the most challenging tracks in the world. Partly because of its 22-turn course layout, but also because the hot and humid weather conditions test the physical strength of each rider. The Suzuka 4-Hour Endurance Race is the first step and a gateway for licensed racers in Asia to expose their talents to an international audience. Moriwaki is looking forward to showing the fans what women can do in professional motorcycle racing.
Synergy Force Moriwaki Club will race the Honda CBR600RR, kitted with Moriwaki Engineering’s racing parts suited for Japan’s Superstock 600 standards. Melissa and Shelina will only have a few hours of testing before the race, yet the there is no excuse for the passionate two Americans and the aim of the team is to finish as high as possible in the rankings.
Today, July 8th, marked the first day of testing for the two team riders. Here is what they had to say.
Despite the fact that it was very tight and difficult for me to make it to this test because I was racing in Spain last weekend, but in the end I am so happy that we finally found the way to make this happen. Today, out on the track, straight away I realized that the track was very challenging with 22 turns, which is a lot to master, and I do not think I will be able to even be competitive in the race if it were not for this testing.
As the day went on, I was more confident and comfortable with the track, and hoping that things will get better with a good night sleep tonight after a testing right after my arrival in the morning from Spain. I am probably a good 10 seconds behind the pace and as a racer you can not be happy about it but at the same time I must be honest with the condition I am in right now. For tomorrow, I hope we will have a dry day out and will be given a chance to improve my performance.
When I think about racing for the Suzuka 4 Hours, I think heat will be something I have to manage, and because I have a little experience with endurance racing, but I’ve been training very hard this year including heat management, but I do not think you can quite prepare fully for that and the fact is that you have to wait and see how hard the condition could be in the actual race.
I also would like to add that this project is part of F.I.M’s Women in Motorsports project and I am greatful for the fact that they have gotten into road-racing in particular in which I think is a great opportunitie for women to be as competitive as the others, so buy our ding this, I would like to see the days when it is not surprising to have girls on the road racing grids. Looking very much for the remaining test and toward the race.
It’s an honor to be here racing with a team like Moriwaki, I mean, supported by Honda is huge for me, we know the names you know, so it was really a big deal for me to be asked to come over here and also the support from F.I.M is incredible.
To me, racing in Japan is a dream, because Japan is close to my heart. I lived in Japan for a year in the past and I always wanted to come back and to come back here racing motorcycle is the best thing ever. Doing something I love the most, motorcycle racing, in a country as amazing as Japan with a team as professional as Moriwaki. Coming here, riding with Melissa and meeting the team, the team is so good and so professional which makes me happy and makes me proud of yourself to feel like you are really part of something.
My first day out on Suzuka, I could not stand it! It’s really fast and so different from the tracks I had experienced in the past, and when Yuki Takahashi said to me before I was on the track that Suzuka is like a combination of a two different tracks, and I understood what he meant as soon as I was out on the track. It took me a good one session for me to really understand what was going on.
It is also my first time ride on a Honda, so the bike is also very new to me, but I liked it a lot. The bike is so well balanced and easy to ride. Again I really enjoy the track with a lot of exciting turns, but I blew through the two chicanes on my first lap out. I had a hard time learning it but my second session went a lot better and dropped my fastest time in my first session to the second session with a difference of four seconds and that was quite rewarding for me.
This is going to be my first time in an endurance race and I although there is still a lot to learn and a lot to get used to, but I am really looking forward for the event.
By Troy Siahaan
See also: Pedrosa Staying with Repsol Honda Through 2016 MotoGP Season, Four Classic Clubs Showcase Variety At AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, Tuner, Engine Builder, Team Owner Rob Muzzy Elected To AMA Motorcycle Hall Of Fame.