Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race 2023 - 04-06/08/2023
IN 100 WORDS: Operated by Honda-owned Mobilityland, Suzuka offers a unique figure-of-eight layout and considerable challenge thanks to its wide variety of corners, while the Suzuka 8 Hours’ summer date means hot and humid conditions and packed grandstands. Opened initially as a Honda test track in 1962, the venue hosted the first edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours in 1978. Since then, the day and night event has been a popular feature of the EWC schedule and a key fixture on the international calendar with leading MotoGP and World Superbike racers taking part – and winning – over the years. Team HRC triumphed in 2022.
*The Suzuka 8 Hours retuned to the EWC calendar in 2022 having not taken place since 2019 due to the global health crisis.
*Americans Mike Baldwin and Wes Cooley won the inaugural Suzuka 8 Hours on 30 July 1978 on a Yoshimura Racing Suzuki.
*Japanese fans had to wait until 1982 for the first home victory when Shigeo Iijima and Shinji Hagiwara won for Honda.
*Although it was billed as an eight-hour race, the onset of a typhoon meant there were only six hours of racing.
*Other winners of the Suzuka 8 Hours include Wayne Rainey (1988), Eddie Lawson (1990) Mick Doohan (1991) and Valentino Rossi (2001).
EXPERT VIEW BY MARKUS REITERBERGER:
“Suzuka is special and the race is very important. The track is breath taking but very difficult to learn. The heat is a big challenge, with 40 degrees and very high humidity.”
2022: Team HRC (Tetsuta Nagashima, Takumi Takahashi, Iker Lecuona) 214 laps
2019: Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8H (Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Toprak Razgatlioğlu) 216 laps
2018: Yamaha Factory Racing Team (Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark) 199 laps
2017: Yamaha Factory Racing Team (Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark) 216 laps
2016: Yamaha Factory Racing Team (Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes, Pol Espargaró) 218 laps
7992 Ino-Cho, Suzuka-shi, Mie-ken 510-0295, Japan
Team HRC - Tetsuta Nagashima
Kawasaki Racing Team - Jonathan Rea