Hamamatsu, 23 July 2018.
Five Suzuki teams who will compete in this weekend’s Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance World Championship finale in Japan were welcomed by approximately 290 Suzuki employees as they visited the Suzuki Headquarters in Hamamatsu on Monday.
Riders from Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing, Team Kagayama U.S.A., MotoMap Supply, S-Pulse Dream Racing·IAI and Hamamatsu Team Titan each spoke about their hopes towards the race on Sunday, July 29th.
“I’d like to give a big welcome to the Suzuki riders, and many thanks to all these Suzuki employees who gathered here today”, said Masahiro Nishikawa, Division General Manager, Motorcycle Operations, Suzuki Motor Corporation. “The riders and the teams will become one as Team Suzuki aim for the podium. We will cheer you from the stands.”
After the photo sessions, the employees formed a long line to have their helmets, shirts, and other goods for autographing by the riders.
Yohei Kato – Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Team Manager:
“Unfortunately, we were not able to get on the podium last year. For this year, we would like to be on the highest position of the podium, because we believe that’s the only thing we can do for Suzuki in return.”
Takuya Tsuda – Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing:
“This is my sixth year with Yoshimura, and the level of competition is getting higher each year, so each and every one member of the team will aim to become champion.”
Yukio Kagayama – Team Kagayama U.S.A.:
“This is the sixth Suzuka 8 Hours for the team, and for the first three years, we were able to achieve podiums, but we’ve had troubles in the last two years and were unable to go on the podium, so we’ll make sure to finish without troubles and hopefully get on the podium along with Yoshimura this year.”
Naomichi Uramoto – Team Kagayama U.S.A.:
“This is my third year with the team, and we’ll have Kevin Schwantz as a team manager and Joe Roberts as a teammate, so we will become one to fight for the podium.”
Hideyuki Ogata – S-Pulse Dream Racing·IAI:
“This is my second Suzuka 8 Hours, and we’ll have Tommy Bridewell, as well as Kazuki Watanabe from Yoshimura, so the overall performance should be high. We would like to contribute in dominating the podium with Suzuki.”
Nobuatsu Aoki – MotoMap Supply:
“We will participate in the Superstock class, and the basic performance of the GSX-R1000 engine is so high, it’s much faster than the conventional Superbike GSX-R1000, so we will fight to become champion in the Superstock class.”
Takahiro Kambayashi – Hamamatsu Team Titan:
“Mr. Takeda was to participate as my teammate, but he was injured in the pre-test, so Mr. Wada, who has always been a Suzuki rider, will join us from outside the company. It will be a difficult competition for us, but in such situation, we will become one as Team Suzuki to finish the race until the very last second.”