Jul 27, 2011
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Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (1).
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Yoshimura Suzuki Racing are both chasing victory at this weekend's prestigious and hotly-contested World Endurance Championship third round at Suzuka in Japan.
Reigning World Champions and current series leaders, SERT, will field a three-man team of Daisaku Sakai, Vincent Philippe and Anthony Delhalle on the French team's GSX-R1000, while Yoshimura Suzuki has put another strong and experienced line-up aboard its Yoshimura-prepped GSX-R1000, comprising former MotoGP, WSB and BSB rider Yukio Kagayama, Suzuki MotoGP test rider Nobuatsu Aoki and Australian Josh Waters.
The Suzuka 8 Hour race is an Endurance classic in Japan, attracting the top Japanese teams, and following a recent two-day test at the circuit, Yoshimura Suzuki and SERT are likely to face strong opposition from FCC TSR Honda with three regular Suzuka podium contenders; Kosuke Akiyoshi, Shinichi Itoh and Ryuichi Kiyonari along with 2010 Suzuka 8 Hour winners, Honda Musashi RT Harc Pro's Takumi Takahashi, Makoto Tamada and Tadayuki Okada.
A total of six permanent World Endurance Championship teams are entered, including current second-placed BMW Motorrad France 99 and third-placed Yamaha Racing France GMT 94 Ipone.
The first Free Practice sessions are scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (GMT + 9), and to save energy consumption in the country - that continues to recover from the recent Earthquake and ensuing Tsunami - the start of the race has been moved one hour earlier.
World Endurance Championship Standings (after 2 rounds):
1 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, FRA (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 54
2 BMW Motorrad France 99, BEL (BMW S1000RR) 52
3 Yamaha Racing France GMT 94 Ipone, FRA (Yamaha YZF-R1) 35
4 Team SRC Kawasaki, FRA (Kawasaki ZX10R) 28
5 YMES Folch Endurance, ESP (Yamaha YZF-R1) 25
6 National Motos, FRA (Honda CBR1000RR) 22
7 Bolliger Team Switzerland, SUI (Kawasaki ZX10R) 18
8 Team R2CL, FRA (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 17
9 Monster Yamaha YART, AUT (Yamaha YZF-R1) 16
10 Honda TT Legends, GBR (Honda CBR1000RR) 15