39th Suzuka 8 Hour News
During the 39th Suzuka 8 Hours, Honda will enter several factory and a few associate teams. One – the MuSASHI RT HARC-PRO team – will feature American World Superbike pilot Nicky Hayden at this year’s Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hour FIM Endurance World Championship race.
The 2006 MotoGP Champion will be joined on the HARC-PRO team, which won the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2013-2014, by World Supersport Champion Michael van der Mark, and current All-Japan Road Race Championship Series rider Takumi Takahashi.
As for Hayden, this is the first time in 13 years that he will compete at the Suzuka 8 Hour at the Suzuka circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan.
“For me it is a great honor to go and compete in a race such as Suzuka 8 Hour with long history and very different type of race with running start, pit stops and working with team mates to find the right set up for all us,” Hayden says.
“With the long summer break we have, I am happy to have a chance to stay on the bike and stay sharp. Will be a long tough challenge with many good teams but would be great to win and add the trophy to my collection.”
Another notable Honda team, which all use the CBR1000RR SP Fireblade, is the F.C.C. TSR Honda team. The team finished second last year during the 2015 Suzuka 8 Hour behind the Yamaha Factory Racing Team (Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro, Katsuyuki Nakasuga). This year’s F.C.C. TSR Honda team features Kazuma Watanabe; Moto2 pilot Dominique Aegerter, who races the Suzuka 8 Hour for his third-straight year, and Patrick Jacobsen, a current World Supersport rider.
Satu HATI. Honda Team Asia will also be competing for its fifth consecutive year, with highly-talented Asian riders. Honda reports that seven Honda associate teams will also participate in the race. “Honda Kumamoto Racing” from the earthquake-affected Kumamoto Factory will join “Honda Ryokuyoukai Kumamoto Racing with Kumamon” and “Honda Blue Helmet MSC Kumamoto” to compete at Suzuka, driven by the strong will for Kumamoto to recover from the natural disaster.