Motorcycles: 8h Suzuka: Why does Yamaha have no real work team with WSBK pilots?

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Yamaha verzichtet in diesem Jahr auf ein reines Werksteam © Yamaha Yamaha does without a pure factory team

from 2015 to 2018, Yamaha celebrated four victories in Suzuka at the prestigious 8-hour race in Suzuka. With the then new R1 and the support from the MotoGP and Superbike World Championship, Yamaha was able to end the five-year winning streak from Honda.

But this year ( for preview of the event ) there is no real Yamaha factory team in Suzuka. Instead, the Yart team is also supported, but must do without prominent WSBK or MotoGP pilots, while Kawasaki and Honda have nominated drivers from the Superbike World Championship.

We have inquired excluded from Yamaha-WSBK team manager Paul Denning why Yamaha does not send a real factory team to Suzuka this year. "I am not sure why this is the case this year. We supported the factory team by providing the drivers and delivering additional support," Denning recalls the past years.

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"This model has been very successful in recent years, especially with Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark. The decision to drive only with the Yart team was certainly hit for economic reasons. It is also one Opportunity to get the Yart team further up, "explains the team manager of the Yamaha work team in the Superbike World Championship.

can Yamaha challenge the Japanese factory teams with Yart?

"It will be interesting, because with drivers like Jonathan (Rea) or Alex (Lowes) you expect you to be able to drive a higher pace than the regular drivers in the long-distance World Cup. So I'm not sure about this decision" , Paul dubs with a view to Yamaha's strategy.

with Marvin Fritz, Karel Hanika and Niccolo Canepa, the Yart team is strongly occupied ( as was the case in the official test ). But is that enough to survive against Honda and Kawasaki? "When you look at the past, you can see that a work team with drivers from the Superbike World Championship is what you need to win the race," said Paul Denning.

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WSBK pilots in Suzuka have no break between the events

for the WSBK pilots who drive in Suzuka, this week is very stressful. After the event in Most, Jonathan Rea, Alex Lowes and Iker Lecuona went straight to the airport to fly to Japan. Physically there is a demanding weekend.

Yamaha star Toprak Razgatlioglu was able to concentrate fully on the Superbike World Cup. Team manager Paul Denning is not angry that Suzuka is not on his agenda this year. "To be honest, I am glad that we don't have to support this project this year," he admits.

List of the youngest winners at the 8h of Suzuka:

2021 - Unusual due to Coronavirus pandemic

2020 - failed due to Coronavirus pandemy

2019 - Kawasaki (Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam Toprak Razgatlioglu)*

2018 - Yamaha (Michael van der Mark , Alex Lowes, Katsuyuki Nakasuga)

2017 - Yamaha (Michael van der Mark, Alex Lowes, Katsuyuki Nakasuga)

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2016 - Yamaha (Pol Espargaro, Alex Lowes, Katsuyuki Nakasuga)

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2015 - Yamaha (pole Espargaro, Bradley Smith, Katsuuki Nakasuga )

2014 - Honda (Michael van der Mark, Leon Haslam, Takumi Takahashi)

2013 - Honda (Michael van der Mark, Leon Haslam, Takumi Takahashi)

2012 - Honda (Jonathan Rea, Kousuke Akiyoshi, Tadayuki Okada)

*= Toprak Razgatlioglu was nominated, but was not used

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