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Yamamoto explains unseen last-lap Suzuka SUPER GT crash

Yamamoto was running fifth in the closing stages of the 450km race in the #100 Honda NSX-GT he shares with Tadasuke Makino, but mysteriously dropped to 11th put on the 77th and final lap.

Some moments following the chequered flag flew, TV pictures showed Yamamoto walking from his wrecked Kunimitsu machine at 130R.

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No footage of the crash itself was shown, but post-race Yamamoto explained he had got on the marbles at 130R while attempting to defend fifth place from the NISMO Nissan Z of Tsugio Matsuda.

He also confirmed he suffered no injuries in the crash.

“At the next pitstop we didn’t change tyres, so we were taking a double stint,” said Yamamoto. “I was determined to score points rather than drop any positions.

“However in the finish I was too stubborn, so when the #23 car [Matsuda] came alongside me, I acquired on the marbles, went off-track and crashed.

“I am sorry for the team and frustrated that people didn’t score points, so we’ll start over for another race [at Sugo] so we are able to fight for the very best positions.”

Makino took the beginning of the race in the #100 Honda from eighth on the grid, stretching out his first stint until lap 30 before handing to Yamamoto for the latter area of the race.

Obtaining the second stop cleared on lap 44 meant that the team was the type of to benefit once the emergence of the safety car on lap 49 shuffled the order, promoting Yamamoto to fifth place.

A location was lost to the #3 NDDP Nissan of Mitsunori Takaboshi, but gained when Matsuda was presented with a drive-through penalty for forcing the winning Impul Nissan of Kazuki Hiramine off the street.

Makino reflected: “It had been a hardcore race, however the important point is that people improved our position [before Yamamoto’s crash] and from the strategy perspective we did everything we’re able to. But it’s clear we didn’t have sufficient to win.

“Now we have been coming towards the finish of the growing season and several other cars could have success weight, therefore i definitely desire to reset at Sugo and choose the win.”

Yamamoto and Makino went in to the Suzuka race as Honda’s top crew in the championship, but have finally slipped to eighth overall, 21.5 points behind Impul Nissan duo Hiramine and Bertrand Baguette.

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