After three wins in a row at the Suzuka 8 Hours, Yamaha is now targeting a fourth consecutive victory. Yamaha Factory Racing Team is already ahead of the game, and thirteen other teams on YZF-R1s are revving up to put the tuning fork logo front and centre at Suzuka.
Following the three-day official test in Japan, a hierarchy is emerging for the Suzuka 8 Hours race on 29 July. Yamaha Factory Racing Team, the winner of the past three editions, has consolidated its status as the favourite, but will likely face stiff competition from Kawasaki Team Green and Honda HRC.
Yonny Hernández returns to the Honda Endurance Racing fold at the Suzuka 8 Hours. The British team has recruited the Colombian rider to replace the injured Gregory Leblanc. He will be riding the Honda #111 with Sébastien Gimbert and Erwan Nigon.
Yamaha Factory Racing Team once again led the official tests with an impressively quick 2:06.273 lap. The winner of the past three editions of the Suzuka 8 Hours proved faster than Kawasaki Team Green and Honda HRC on the second day of tests in Japan.
Kawasaki has grown increasingly ambitious since making an official return to the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2014. Factory squad Kawasaki Team Green is chasing a victory, and seven other teams will be flying the Kawasaki colours.
Honda will make the strongest showing at the Suzuka 8 Hours: 22 out of the 64 machines expected to line up on the grid are Hondas. The factory is launching a major bid to win back its home race in Japan, with HRC returning to the fray after a 10-year absence.