Jun 5, 2012
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Yoshimura Suzuki's GSX-R1000 endurance racebike.
The Japanese Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team has announced a strong three-rider line-up for next month's World Endurance Suzuka 8-Hour race in Japan that includes Leon Camier, Josh Waters and Nobuatsu Aoki.
FIXI Crescent World Superbike rider Camier will join Australian Superbike Champion Waters and Suzuki Factory test rider Aoki for the 35th Anniversary event on July 29, where Yoshimura will also celebrate its 35th participation in the race - the only team to have competed in every single race.
Said Team Manager Yohei Kato: "This year we are collaborating with Team FIXI Crescent Suzuki in the World Superbike Championship Series by developing and supplying the engines and exhaust systems and through this regular entry into the World's top Superbike race series, we have gained much more and different experience from the wild card entries we had last year. At the Suzuka 8 Hours, we will put all know-how into the Yoshimura GSX-R1000L2 and we hope we can show the high potential and performance of our race bike.
"We have three excellent riders in our team; Josh Waters, who showed his potential in his first Suzuka race last year, Nobuatsu Aoki, who is a veteran rider with great ability and knowledge of machine set-up, and as a new rider for our Suzuka 8 Hours team, we welcome Leon Camier from the World Superbike Championship Series. We are aiming our fifth victory at the Suzuka 8 Hours and we will try our best."
"I am absolutely thrilled to be racing in the Suzuka 8 hour this year and honoured that Yoshimura has asked me to take part in such a prestigious race. I have done the Suzuka 8 hour race three times before (in 2005, 2006 and 2007) but have never been particularly successful there, so I am hoping that this year will see a change of luck.
"It's an amazing race and probably the hardest - both physically and mentally - that a racer does. The temperatures are usually very hot and the track is so physical, it just saps all your energy.
"It is a hard track to learn because it is so long and it is also technically very demanding. I will have to learn how to ride the Yoshimura GSX-R on Bridgestone tyres, but hopefully that will not be too much of a problem and I can run consistent lap times. My goal is to get to grips with the tyres as soon as I can, keep up a good pace; and still be fast at the end of the race."
"I am very excited to be joining the Yoshimura Suzuki Suzuka 8 hour team for 2012 and I would like to thank both Suzuki and Yoshimura for offering me the great opportunity. Last year we came very close to winning, I learnt a lot and now I know how hard the Suzuka 8 hour is.
"I hope I can help the team to get even better result this year. My team mates for 2012 are both great riders and I am looking forward to working with them."
"This is my 5th time racing at the Suzuka 8hour Endurance race with Team Yoshimura. I am really exited to race with the multi-national team this year and I hope I can assist these young riders. Based on the WSBK development, the engine should perform well and I am looking forward to riding the Yoshimura GSX-R1000L2.
"I have been racing for 30 years and I have raced in Moto GP races, mostly in Japan. It is well known that Moto GP is the fastest motorcycle competition in the World but I would say the Suzuka 8 hour is the toughest endurance race in the World. It should be extremely competitive again this year, but my target is climbing back to the top of the podium with my team mates. Yes, we need to win!"
More, from a press release issued by FIXI Crescent Suzuki:
CAMIER TO RACE AT SUZUKA 8-HOUR
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier is to join Suzuki Factory Test Rider Nobuatsu Aoki and Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters for the 35th Anniversary Suzuka 8-Hour race in Japan next month as part of the Yoshimura Suzuki team.
Camier was recently asked in America by Yoshimura President, Fujio Yoshimura to join the Japanese team and was given permission by FIXI Crescent Suzuki to race at the third round of the World Endurance series. This historic event will take place on Sunday 29th July at the 5,864m Suzuka circuit and, as the name suggests, it is an eight-hour long endurance race where the riders alternate every 50 minutes for the whole duration of the event in an attempt to complete the most laps. The Suzuka circuit is one of the only tracks to have a 'figure-8' layout, where the back straight passes over the front section by means of an overpass and is a very difficult and demanding track for riders and machines alike.
Camier will next be in action for FIXI Crescent Suzuki in the World Superbike Championship at Misano this weekend, followed by races at Aragon and Brno in July, before he takes a break from his usual duties to join the Yoshimura Suzuki team. This year's Suzuka 8-hour will not only see the 35th anniversary of the race, but the Yoshimura Suzuki team also celebrates its 35th appearance at the event the only team to have completed in every staging of the race and with its three-pronged attack of Camier, Aoki and Waters, Yoshimura Suzuki will be aiming for its fifth victory.
"I am absolutely thrilled to be racing in the Suzuka 8-hour this year and honoured that Yoshimura have asked me to take part in such a prestigious race. I have done the Suzuka 8-Hour race three times before (in 2005, 2006 and 2007), but have never been particularly successful there, so I am hoping that this year will see a change of luck.
"It's an amazing race and probably the hardest - both physically and mentally - that a racer does The temperatures are usually very hot and the track is so physical, it just saps all your energy. It is a hard track to learn because it is so long and it is also technically very demanding. I will have to learn how to ride the Yoshimura GSX-R on different tyres, but hopefully that will not be too much of a problem and I can run consistent lap-times. My goal is to get to grips with the tyres as soon as I can, keep up a good pace and still be fast at the end of the race.
"I would like to thank FIXI Crescent Suzuki for allowing me to take part in the race and hope I can reward them all with a good result."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"All of us at FIXI Crescent Suzuki are happy to give Leon the opportunity to take part in such a famous race as the Suzuka 8-Hour. Our engine partners Yoshimura have been working hard all year to provide us with good material, so it's nice that we can give them something back. Leon has been to Suzuka before and, although it's one of the toughest races, I'm sure he'll do us all proud."
Fujio Yoshimura Yoshimura President:
"I first saw Leon race in Suzuka many years ago and I was impressed with his performance. This year, we've been working a lot with FIXI Crescent Suzuki and have learnt a lot more about Leon. We decided to ask him to race for us in the Suzuka 8-hour race because we think he will do well for us, though I am a bit curious to see how he will adapt to the different tyres. For Yoshimura, the Suzuka 8-Hour is always a very special event and we think our team of Leon, Nobu Aoki and Josh Waters have a good chance of success."