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Smith & Espargaro to compete in Suzuka 8 Hours Race

Smith & Espargaro to compete in Suzuka 8 Hours Race

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo will be representing Yamaha in their return to the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race.

Yamaha has officially announced that the Yamaha Factory Racing Team will be competing in the 38th “Coca-Cola Zero” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race, which is to be held at Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, July 23-26, 2015. This will be the first time since 2002 that Yamaha has fielded a factory team for this prestiguous race.

The team’s rider line-up will consist of reigning JSB1000 class champion of the All Japan Road Race Championship Katsuyuki Nakasuga and MotoGP riders Pol Espargarò and Bradley Smith. They will ride a factory machine based on the new YZF-R1 that has been specially developed for competition in the Suzuka 8 Hours, as they set out to claim Yamaha's first victory in this event in 19 years and its fifth in the race’s history.

Espargaro and Smith will be entering the Suzuka 8 Hours for the first time and will bring to the challenge their vast experience in the world’s premier motorcycle road racing category, MotoGP.

Nakasuga is one of the top Yamaha riders in Japan and is currently in contention to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive title in the premier class of the All Japan Road Race Championship. He has raced in the Suzuka 8 Hours seven times before, with a best result of fourth place in 2014.

Smith: “Firstly, I want to give Yamaha a massive thank you for considering me to be part of their Suzuka 8 Hour team, which is a legendary event. I’m looking forward to trying a new form of motorcycle racing and even more so along with my MotoGP teammate Pol and Katsuyuki Nakasuga, who has a strong record at this special race. I think it will be an unforgettable event and it will add another chapter to my life with Yamaha. I’m also very excited to try the new Yamaha YZF-R1, which I have heard a lot about and it will be really great to finally get the opportunity to ride it. Of course, I will take this event very seriously as we are going to be part of the official Factory Team effort, so I will head to Japan with the full intention of getting a high scoring result for Yamaha.”

Espargaro: “I am really happy that Yamaha has chosen me to represent them at one of the most famous motorsport events, the Suzuka 8 Hour race. I feel honoured to take part in it, but there will be a lot to learn. I am under no illusion that it will be easy as I have never raced in an endurance event before and I don’t know the YZF-R1, even though a lot of people speak very highly about it. In addition, the MotoGP calendar is very demanding and we will have to work through the training for the event, in between the races. Therefore, we need to work as much as possible in order to be prepared for the race, but I’m very excited to get this opportunity. Moreover, it will be nice to work with Bradley as a partner where we will fight together, instead of against each other. I think we will complement each other very well and have a great time. The only thing is that neither of us know the Suzuka track, so I hope Nakasuga-san can help us with everything, which includes the circuit, the bike and the correct strategies that we need to have a successful eight hour race. It will be special and we will do our best to reward the faith that Yamaha has put in us.”

 

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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