Brad Ray will join the famous Yoshimura Suzuki team for the iconic Suzuka 8 hour endurance race on July 29. First hosted in 1978, the race has attracted riders from all over the world and this year the Yoshimura team, who won the inaugural 8 hour race, are confident for another good result.
Ray said, “I am so honored and privileged to be invited by Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Team to take part in the famous Suzuka 8 hours endurance race. This will be my first time taking part in the 8hours event and I am extremely excited. We will all be pushing hard as a team to get on the top step of the podium this year.”
He will be joined by World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli, Moto2 race winner and Japanese road racer Kazuki Watanabe and Takuya Tsuda, the primary test rider for Suzuki since their return to MotoGP.
Guintoli said, “Last year was the first time for me at the Suzuka 8 hours and it was an unforgettable experience. The level of bikes and riders are very high and the track and weather conditions make for what is probably the toughest race in the world. I am looking forward to riding again with Yoshimura Suzuki at this fantastic track and to hopefully improve our result from last year.”
Watanabe said, “There is a great deal of passion within the Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Team and it is a great honor to be one of their riders for this years Suzuka 8 hours. I will try my best to lead the team on to the top of the podium.”
Tsuda said, “I am proud to be racing the Suzuka 8 hours this summer for Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing. It is known as one of the most difficult races and rival teams are getting faster and faster every year. However, we have improved our GSX-R1000R a great deal from last year and we will do our best to make it even faster to secure the victory for the team.”
Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL team manager, Yohei Kato, said, “It will be our 41st time taking part in the Suzuka 8 Hours. Our four riders riders will be Sylvain Guintoli & Takuya Tsuda, the Suzuki MotoGP test riders, Bradley Ray, one of the most distinctive riders in the British Superbike Championship, and Kazuki Watanabe, new Yoshimura JSB1000 rider. Yoshimura and Suzuki have been working hard to make the GSX-R1000R as fast as possible and I promise all that support us that this year we will beat the factory teams that challenge us with great riders and powerful teamwork.”
Since its creation in 1962, the Suzuka circuit has hosted many international competitions including the Formula 1 Grand Prix, MotoGP championship and the Endurance World Championship. The 8 hour endurance race is one of the greatest tests of teamwork, determination and abilities of a manufacturer's bike.