TOKYO, Japan, June 10, 2016 – Honda announced details of its teams to compete in 2016 FIM Endurance World Championship Series Round 3, The 39th “Coca-Cola Zero” Suzuka 8hours FIM Endurance World Championship (Suzuka 8 hours), to be held at the Suzuka circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan, on Sunday, July 31.
F.C.C. TSR Honda, runners-up in last year’s Suzuka 8 hours, will aim to win, with Kazuma Watanabe, who finished 3rd in Round 1 of 2016 FIM Endurance World Championship – the Le Mans 24 Hours race, Dominique Aegerter, current Moto2 rider appearing in Suzuka for his 3rd consecutive year, and Patrick Jacobsen, currently competing in the Supersport World Championship.
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO will be aiming to claim victory with its 2013-2014 winning team riders – Japanese rider Takumi Takahashi, currently competing in the JSB1000 class in the All-Japan Road Race Championship Series, and Michael van Der Mark, current World Superbike Championship Series rider. Moreover, former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, who returns to the Suzuka 8 hours for the first time in 13 years will join.
Satu HATI. Honda Team Asia will also be competing for its fifth consecutive year, with highly-talented Asian riders.
Seven Honda associate teams will also participate in the race. “Honda Kumamoto Racing” from the earthquake-affected Kumamoto Factory will join “Honda Ryokuyoukai Kumamoto Racing with Kumamon” and “Honda Blue Helmet MSC Kumamoto” to compete at Suzuka, driven by the strong will for Kumamoto to recover from the natural disaster.
F.C.C. TSR Honda
“First of all, I appreciate Honda, the team, and the many sponsors including Teluru for supporting F.C.C. TSR Honda. This year I have been able to ride in endurance races, at Le Mans (France) in April, and the 12 Hours of Portimao (Portugal) in June, and I can feel the experiences other than sprint races give us a big advantage. I rode in France and in Portugal this year in preparation to win this year’s Suzuka, so I hope to show the results of our hard work, and that we can live up to everyone’s expectations.
We only have one goal – to win. We have done everything possible to prepare, and have spared no effort, so we’ll be using the remaining time wisely to be set to race at Suzuka.”
“It’s such a great opportunity to race for TSR Honda in the Suzuka 8 hour. Such an incredible race and to do it with such a top team is an honor. It will be very hot and a difficult race but I will try my hardest and I’m really looking forward to starting the Suzuka weekend already.”
“I am very happy to race again Suzuka 8 hours with a strong team like F.C.C. TSR Honda. This race is very challenging and the team is very important to get a good result, all the details are very important from the pit stop to the machine itself. My team is very professional, their CBR1000RR is very fast and after the second position of last year I look forward to going again on the podium. ”
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO.
“Last year’s 8-hours race was over too soon, and I have a lot of regrets about it. I’m thrilled that again for this year, we have the best team, best teammates, and a strong formation. The whole team will be fighting to take revenge from last year’s race, to win back the crown this year.”
Michael van der Mark
“I’m really happy and honored to be riding again at the Suzuka 8 hours this year. The race is something special during the year and I just couldn’t miss this one after last year. Together with the MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO., we have had much good memories. Our main goal of course is to win the race again in 2016 and together with Nicky and Takumi we will have a strong team.”
“For me it is a great honor to go and compete in a race such as Suzuka 8 hours with long history and very different type of race with running start, pit stops and working with team mates to find the right set up for all us! With the long summer break we have, I am happy to have a chance to stay on the bike and stay sharp. Will be a long tough challenge with many good teams but would be great to win and add the trophy to my collection.”