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Nicky Hayden to take part in Suzuka 8 Hour

Nicky Hayden to take part in Suzuka 8 Hour

Nicky Hayden to take part in Suzuka 8 Hour

Nicky Hayden will continue his worldwide racing education during the brief summer break after the Cinzano German Grand Prix when he takes part in the Suzuka 8 Hour race on August 3rd. The AMA Superbike Champion, who has spent the last two days testing his RC211V in Brno, will be back on a VTR1000SPW alongside fellow MotoGP rookie and HRC colleague Ryuichi Kiyonari in the world famous endurance race, which was won last year by Daijiro Kato and Colin Edwards with a record 219 laps.

Whilst Tohru Ukawa missed out on last year´s race thanks to injuries sustained in the Cinzano British Grand Prix, the home favourite is hoping to be fit to return this year as he teams up with former Superbike rider Hitoyasu Izutsu. Ukawa is aiming to equal the current record of four wins held by Australian former 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner, although ironically he is still struggling to overcome a nasty cut on his elbow and other bumps and bruises sustained in his first lap spill at Donington Park last Sunday.

Other familiar names to MotoGP fans on the entry list include Suzuki´s Yukio Kagayama, former 125cc World Champion Haruchika Aoki, Bridgestone test rider Shinichi Ito and regular 250cc wildcards Hideyuki Nakajoh, Yuki Takahashi and Tekkyu Kayo, whilst GP veteran Tady Okada is set to team up with Chojun Kameya, the cousin of Daijiro Kato. Kameya has received permission from Kato´s family to ride with the number 74.

Hayden can take heart from a strong record for MotoGP riders in the series over recent seasons. Fellow American Colin Edwards (1996, 2001 and 2002), team-mate Valentino Rossi (2001), HRC colleague Ukawa (1997, 1998 and 2000), current Aprilia star Noriyuki Haga (1996) and former 250cc World Champion Kato (2000 and 2002) are all previous winners of the prestigious event.

MotoGP, 2003, Nicky Hayden

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