This weekend the legendary Suzuka 8 Hours takes place on Sunday 28 July, which also marks the final round of the 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship. Honda will be looking to earn back the title of this prestigious race, after having won the event a total of 27 times, with the first Honda win dating back to the second edition of the race in 1979.
The Red Bull Honda team (#33, Takumi Takahashi, Ryuichi Kiyonari, Stefan Bradl) has already been on pace during the test sessions prior the event, and were just off the circuit record by a fraction of a second. Takahashi leads the All Japan Road Racing Superbike 1000 series, Kiyonari is a three times WorldSBK race winner and current factory rider for the Moriwaki Althea Honda team in the FIM Superbike World Championship, with Stefan Bradl being the current HRC MotoGP Test team rider and 2012 Moto2 World Champion. Red Bull Honda is one of 18 Honda teams that will compete on Fireblade machinery across the weekend.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Freddy Foray, Mike di Meglio, Josh Hook) arrives at Suzuka with a chance of defending their world title, which they earned at the very same track one year ago. The team have set their sights on making up ground to their EWC rivals, where they are currently sitting third in the championship standings with 109 points, just 23 points away from the leaders.
The Honda Endurance Racing team is aware of the difficulties the Suzuka 8 Hours brings and their aim is to be the best European endurance team when the race is flagged off on Sunday. Sébastien Gimbert, Randy de Puniet and Yonny Hernandez all have a good amount of experience around the Suzuka Circuit, with de Puniet reaching the podium twice already.
A strong line up has been put together by MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO.Honda too. Japanese rider Ryo Mizuno, currently fourth in the All-Japan Road Racing Superbike 1000 series, is partnered by Spanish rider Xavi Fores – currently sixth in the British Superbikes BSB standings – and Moto2 race winner Dominique Aegerter from Switzerland.
Amongst this year’s Honda riders, there are countless success thrown in the mix: 38 Grand Prix victories and a total of 128 GP podiums are shared between riders like de Puniet, Aegerter, Bradl and Co.
The 42ndEdition of the Suzuka 8 Hours gets underway at 11.30 local time (BST +8 hours) on Sunday 28 July. For all the latest news and updates on Honda at the Suzuka 8 Hours follow @HondaProRacing on Twitter.