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Jul 23, 2015 - 04:01 PM
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Suzuki Teams Geared-Up For Suzuka 8 Hours
Posted by: newsla on Jul 23, 2015 - 03:58 PM
Suzuki Teams Geared-Up For Suzuka 8 Hours

Suzuki is geared-up for Japan’s most prestigious motorcycle race, the 38th "Coca-Cola Zero" Suzuka 8 Hours World Endurance Championship second round at Suzuka Circuit this weekend as the company celebrates the 30th anniversary of its iconic GSX-R range of motorcycles.

A total of five Suzuki factory and satellite-supported teams have entered including World Championship leaders Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT), Suzuka lap record holders Yoshimura Suzuki, Team Kagayama Suzuki, Hamamatsu Team Titan and Moto Map Supply, along with a further 13 Suzuki GSX-R-mounted teams.

Le Mans, France opening round winners, SERT – Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson – race with the #30 plate in recognition of the GSX-R. Alongside them on the #17 GSX-R1000 is Team Kagayama’s Noriyuki Haga, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Yukio Kagayama and the #12 Yoshimura Suzuki piloted by Takuya Tsuda, Alex Lowes and Josh Waters. Also on the grid are two further strong Japanese teams; #31 Hamamatsu Team Titan – Tsubasa Inuki, Hikaru Ohshiro and Yohei Iganami, plus the #32 MotoMap Supply Suzuki comprising Yoshihiro Konna, Nobuatsu Aoki and Hideyuki Ogata.

SERT currently holds an 18-point lead in the series over Bolliger Switzerland with SRC Kawasaki a further point adrift, but some of the strongest opposition on the 5.821km circuit will from the Japanese factory teams, in particular 2013 and 2014 Suzuka 8 Hours winners Team Musashi RT Harc-Pro, who have drafted-in former MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner from retirement.

Suzuki Motor Corporation will have a big presence at the circuit with various promotions taking part to celebrate the GSX-R Anniversary. In recognition of the GSX-R, SERT Team Manager Dominique Meliand commented: "The Suzuki GSX-R 750 was a real innovation in the world of motorcycling. It was a revolution, thanks to its aluminum frame that provided an unexpected lightness. With the arrival of this bike in racing it was necessary to make it different, to learn, to develop and to organise our methodology in order to adapt the motorcycle better.

“What is amazing is how Suzuki has succeeded in developing a motorcycle both able to win in races, while allowing Suzuki’s customers to ride on road every day. As I have often said ‘a racing machine is never accomplished, there is always still work to do to make things better’ and the motorcycle has evolved over the years. Today I am very happy with our current motorcycle, the Suzuki GSX-R1000, and its performance, but I will always have good memories of the GSX-R750 and its beginnings.”

The opening free practice sessions begin today (Thursday) with qualifying getting underway on Friday, with the 84 entered teams vying for a total of 70 places on the grid. Saturday sees the final qualifying sessions and the all-important Top-10 Shootout that will determine the starting grid for Sunday’s race that kicks-off at 11.30am local time.

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