The momentum of its two previous wins at the Suzuka 8 Hours, Yamaha Factory Racing Team gave the upper hand right from qualifying at the Suzuka 8 Hours. The Japanese factory Yamaha placed ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing and Musashi RT Harc-Pro Honda.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, will flag off the Suzuka 8 Hours, the grand finale of the FIM EWC. This honour is a reciprocal gesture for the invitation extended to Susumu Yamashita, President of Mobilityland, to flag off the 24 Heures Motos earlier this year.
The FIM EWC is one of the few international championships in which teams are free to choose their tyres. Which means the Suzuka 8 Hours will also be a battle of three tyre heavyweights: Bridgestone, Dunlop and Pirelli.
Moriwaki Motul Racing posted the fastest time at the Suzuka three-day test. Returning to the fray after a nine-year absence, the Pirelli-mounted Honda team showed it is a serious contender for the Suzuka 8 Hours win.
Sodo Hamahara will be Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s third rider at the Suzuka 8 Hours. Currently racing in JSB1000, the Japanese superbike championship, with Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing, Sodo Hamahara will shore up Vincent Philippe and Etienne Masson on the Suzuki #1 to try and net SERT a 16th world title.
Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing was quickest at the first two days of factory testing at Suzuka this week, posting a 2’07.232 fastest lap to top the timesheets ahead of Musashi RT Harc-Pro and Kawasaki Team Green.