Yamaha targeting 5th win at Suzuka
Yamaha Factory Racing Team have confirmed they will be fielding last year’s winning trio to attempt a 5th consecutive win at the 2019 Suzuka 8 Hours. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark will ride an R1 in Yamaha Factory Racing’s “Tech 21 Shiseido” livery from 1985.
Yamaha Factory Racing Team, the uncontested winners since returning to the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2015, are targeting a fifth victory at the 2019 race. Having triumphed last year ahead of HRC’s Honda and Kawasaki Team Green, Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark will once again ride the YZF-R1, sporting the Tech 21 Shiseido name and livery this year in honour of the very first works bike to be entered by Yamaha in the Suzuka 8 Hours back in 1985, with Kenny Roberts and Tadahiko Taira in the saddle. The Yamaha Tech21 Shiseido took its first win in 1987.
The goal becomes increasingly tough to achieve with every passing year, says Wataru Yoshikawa, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Tech21 Shiseido team manager. “Winning the Suzuka 8 Hours has never been easy but this year, we need to target 220 laps to win (199 laps run in 2018). HRC rider Takumi Takahashi posted an incredible lap time in Suzuka in April with a 2:03.874 during the JSB (as compared to the 2:05.168 fastest Superole lap set by Jonathan Rea in 2018) and Kawasaki are coming back as a full factory team KRT, but we will do our best to win the race 5 times in a row.”