Bradl joins Honda's factory Suzuka 8 Hours line-up
Former MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl will lead Honda’s charge in the second year of the Japanese manufacturer’s return to the Suzuka 8 Hours as a factory entrant.
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Bradl, who serves as HRC’s official test rider in MotoGP, will be joined by World Superbike racer Ryuichi Kiyonari and Takumi Takahashi in the line-up of the Red Bull-backed #33 Fireblade.
Bradl and Kiyonari are two new additions to the factory Honda line-up alongside the returning Takahashi, replacing PJ Jacobsen - an injury substitute for WSBK stalwart Leon Camier - and LCR MotoGP rider Takaaki Nakagami.
Kiyonari, who was part of Honda’s winning crew in 2008, has been moved in from the customer Moriwaki team.
“I’m glad to be a part of Honda’s factory team,” Bradl said. “I’m excited to be racing in this race because it’s a very important race for Honda, and many racing legends have won here.
“I’ll do my best with my teammates, who have won here, to show the fans an exceptional race.”
Honda’s factory effort will be complemented by eight customer teams, including the three-time racing-winning HARC-Pro outfit, which will field All-Japan Superbike rider Ryo Mizuno and British Superbike racer Xavi Fores alongside a yet-to-be announced third rider.
Full-season Endurance World Championship entrant F.C.C. TSR has retained both Josh Hook and Freddy Foray, the two joined by former Avintia Ducati racer Mike de Meglio.
Earlier this week, Suzuki named Yukio Kagayama, Sylvain Guintoli and Kazuki Watanabe as its line-up for its factory Yoshimura team, Guintoli being the only rider retained from last year.
Yamaha has won every edition of Suzuka 8 Hours since its factory return in 2015, and will field Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark for a third successive year.
The 42nd edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours takes place on July 28.
#33 Red Bull Honda: PJ Jacobsen, Takumi Takahashi, Takaaki Nakagami
Photo by: Jun Goto
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