Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing has announced its four-rider line-up for the Suzuka 8-Hours World Endurance Championship fifth and final round that takes place at Suzuka Circuit in Japan on July 29th.
Suzuki MotoGP test rider Sylvain Guintoli and British Superbike rider Bradley Ray will join All Japan Superbike and Suzuka 8-Hour regulars Takuya Tsuda and Kazuki Watanabe aboard the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 as the team competes in its 41st event.
Fujio Yoshimura: President of Yoshimura Japan Co., Ltd:
“It will be the 41st Suzuka 8 Hours for us! This event has been in the world championship series ever since 1980. Back in 1976 to 1978, Honda RCB was called an ‘Unsinkable Fleet’ in the World Endurance Series in Europe and the first Suzuka 8 hours in 1978 was going to be Honda's ‘Homecoming Victory’ as many of the Japanese fans had never seen RCB in their home country - but it was not.
“Racing fans always remember that Yoshimura beat the factory teams and won the first Suzuka 8 Hours! We do not know what sort of drama we may encounter during the coming 8 Hours as we finished the race in seventh place overall despite a second lap accident last year. Nonetheless, Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing was rewarded the ‘Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy’ by the race organisers for our fighting spirit.
“Yoshimura's Challenging Spirit is the key word which we would like to share with all our fans at the Suzuka Circuit and we look forward to seeing you all at Suzuka!”
Yohei Kato - Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Team Manager:
“Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL racing is going to take part in the 41st FIM Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance World Championship. Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing is calling four riders, Sylvain Guintoli & Takuya Tsuda, the Suzuki MotoGP test riders, Bradley Ray, one of the most distinctive riders in the British Superbike, and Kazuki Watanabe, the new Yoshimura JSB1000 rider.
“Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing will select three riders to make the strongest package for the final race. Suzuka 8 hours this year will be the one of the hardest races because in addition to the Yamaha Factory team who have won for the past three years, Honda has a reorganised factory team and Kawasaki will take a part with a world champion rider. Yoshimura and Suzuki worked together more than ever to make the GSX-R1000R faster to challenge these rival teams. In 2017, our crash in the second lap made Yoshimura Suzuki supporters really disappointed. This year, I make a promise to all who supports us that Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing will beat the factory teams with great riders and powerful teamwork. Let's enjoy two years' worth of Suzuka 8 hours. Thank you very much for your great support of Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing. I've Got The Power!”
“I am proud to be racing the Suzuka 8 Hours this summer for the Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Team. It is known as one of the most difficult races and rival teams are getting faster and faster every year. However, I am confident that our GSX-R1000R is improved and much and faster than the last year. I will concentrate on my energy to make the race machine faster until the last minute for the victory of the Suzuka 8 Hours.”
“Last year was the first time for me in the Suzuka 8 Hours and it was an unforgettable experience. The level of bikes and riders is very high, and the track and weather conditions make for what is probably the toughest race in the world. We enjoyed, we suffered but made a great team effort with all the Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Team to come back from the last to the seventh place. I am looking forward to riding the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000R again on this fantastic track and hopefully improve our result from last year.”
“I am so honoured and privileged to be invited by the Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Team to take part in the famous Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race. This will be my first time taking part in the event and I am extremely excited. I'm looking forward to teaming up with Sylvain Guintoli, Takuya Tsuda and Kazuki Watanabe as they have all done the Suzuka 8 Hours race before and have an experience in the Yoshimura Suzuki team. We will all be pushing hard as a team to get on the top step of the podium this year.”
“It is a great honour to be invited as one of Yoshimura Suzuka 8 Hours riders. I feel the passion and sprits of Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Team by racing the JSB1000 Championship and I am very looking forward to racing the Suzuka 8 Hours with the team. It is difficult to evaluate my contribution to the team at the moment, but I will try my best to lead the team on the top of the podium.”