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The 40th Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race, the Biggest Endurance Race in Japan

40 years of sizzling racing


This 40th anniversary of the Coca Cola" Suzuka 8 Hour Endurance Road Race is the first finale ever of the World Endurance Championship Series to be held in Japan. This year more than ever it is sure to spark the imagination of motorsports fans around the world.

The first Suzuka 8 Hours was held in 1978, a year marked by Japan’s increasing confidence on the global scene, for example, that year traffic regulations switched from American to Japanese on the islands of Okinawa, and the Narita International Airport was opened near Tokyo. Much history has been made in the intervening 40 years.

The winner of the first Suzuka 8 Hours was a constructor team, Yoshimura. Since then they have never missed the race, having competed for 39 consecutive years. Yoshimura’s win signalled the start of a powerful tradition of this event, the battle of factory versus constructor. Four Japanese factory teams, Honda, YAMAHA, SUZUKI, and Kawasaki joined the race, making it a battleground for factory pride. This hasn’t deterred constructors from challenging the big guns of the factory teams though. Constructor winners always provide a big boost for fans.

Wes Cooley, Mike Baldwin, Graeme Crosby, David Aldana, and Hervé Moineau, the finest riders of their time, are just some of the greats who have taken part in the Suzuka 8 Hours. Wayne Gardner won recognition for his success in the Suzuka 8 Hours and went on to become a World Grand Prix 500 class champion. The rise in prestige of the Suzuka 8 Hours has grown hand in hand with the triumphant career of the brilliant Mr. Gardner.

Following Wayne Gardner’s rise, many Grand Prix riders have participated in the Suzuka 8 Hours. Kenny Roberts, Tadahiko Taira, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, ‘Mick’ Doohan and Valentino Rossi to name just a few.

Suzuka 8 Hours, the race that led the Suzuka Circuit into new eras.


Top riders of the world have turned the Suzuka 8 Hours into what has become known as a “sprint endurance race". The key to winning the World Endurance Championship is drive with stability and at a constant speed. This is achieved by steady and consistent riding. To win the Suzuka 8 Hours however, one must not only have a steady hand on the throttle, but drive at speeds approaching those of a sprint.

The top world class riders have recorded astonishing lap times in the past and that tradition continues. The 2015 winner YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM signed MotoGP™ rider Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith. These two were joined by Japanese ace Katsuyuki Nakasuga to create a dream team. In the TOP 10 Trial Espargaró recorded an astounding 2:06.000.

MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO. (Honda) brought former MotoGP™ champions, Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden. Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance (SUZUKI) and Team KAGAYAMA (SUZUKI) brought back the veteran master Kevin Schwantz. Last year Leon Haslam joined Team GREEN (Kawasaki) who finished second to became a podium winner.

This midsummer’s finale match of the Coca Cola" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race will no doubt add a new chapter to the long history of races here, famous for passionate fights right down to the checkered flag.

The 40th Anniversary Race, This year's Highlights.

This year’s 40th anniversary event will be the first Championship final ever held in Japan.


This year’s Coca Cola" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race will be the season finale for the World Endurance Championship Series. This is the first time the Championship decider will be held in Japan. The series ranking will be finalized by this event too, so – not only teams that enter every race of the series but also those that only race here – will be shooting for their best finish possible.

F.C.C. TSR Honda and EVA Trick Star Racing are full-season contenders in the World Endurance Championship Series. Both teams made a great start this season with EVA Trick Star Racing finishing 3rd and F.C.C. TSR Honda finishing 5th in the opening race at the Bol d’Or 24-Hour in France. Hopes for a Japanese team to win the championship on home soil at the Coca Cola" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race are high.

The powerful series contenders SRC Kawasaki, GMT94 YAMAHA, YART Yamaha Official EWC Team, not to mention S.E.R.T (SUZUKI ENDURANCE RACING TEAM) – who won the Bol d’Or 24-Hour – will be here. With 15 championship titles under its belt, S.E.R.T is on a two-season win streak beginning in 2015. The team will be gunning for their first Coca Cola" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race win.

Formidable Japanese teams rise to the challenge. Is rider choice the key to winning?


The winner of the 2015 and the 2016 Suzuka 8 Hours, the YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM will enter two teams. Their rider lineup will be announced soon. If their ace rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga wins a third consecutive year, he will be the first person to do so since Aaron Slight won in 1993 ’94 and ’95. MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO. will bring a new model Honda. In the past the team nominated MotoGP™ class former champions like Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden. This year it has chosen three-time Suzuka 8 Hours winner Takumi Takahashi. He will be joined by Moto2™ rider Takaaki Nakagami, said to be the current top Japanese rider, and a man who may have a shot at the MotoGP™. We eagerly anticipate the announcement of their third rider. The prestigious MORIWAKI MOTUL RACING is coming back with Yuki Takahashi and Ryuichi Kiyonari. Both are seasoned racers. If Kiyonari takes the flag at the Coca Cola" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race, it will tie Toru Ukawa’s record of 5 wins.

Suzuki has made a full model change to its GSX-R1000. The major power houses on Suzuki bikes are Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing and Team KAGAYAMA, led by rider-manager Yukio Kagayama. Their riders are still unnamed. They always bring excellent riders and we look forward seeing their lineups.

Last year the Kawasaki Team GREEN was the only group to keep within a lap of the YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM. The team renewed their All Japan JSB1000 class lineup and Leon Haslam announced he’ll be competing for the team in Suzuka 8 Hours. Team Green will be strong again this year.

In 2016 the 8 hour race was held in entirely dry conditions with no need for safety car intervention. The winner, YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM completed 218 laps. That establishes the target for this year. The highest number of laps ever recorded is 219 by Daijiro Kato and Colin Edwards of Team Cabin Honda who set that record in 2002 with a six pit stop strategy. This was however, before a chicane was introduced to the motorcycle course.

The Suzuka 4 Hours Endurance Road Race, The race of future stars.


The final race of the Suzuka 4 Hours Endurance Road Race will be held a day before the final of the Coca Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race. This will be a battle of Japanese license holders and freshman license holders from around the world who aspire to make their mark. In this race two riders take turns riding one machine over a course of 4 hours.The bikes are 600 cc, 4 stroke, ST specification machines with limited modifications. Rather than riding on racing slicks, Bridgestone’s grooved commercial tires are used, and no tire changes are permitted during the race. These regulations make for what some consider to be a harder race than the Coca Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race. Minimum stress on the tires so they will last becomes an important key if you want to win this one.

Thanks to the Asia Road Racing Championship held in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Suzuka, Asian riders have been up and coming in recent years. Last year’s Suzuka 4 Hours winners were the Indonesians, Irfan Ardiansyah and Rheza Danica. The third round of the Asia Road Racing Championship will be held from June 2nd to 4th at the Suzuka Circuit. Many young Japanese and other Asian riders will enter this competition which might be seen as a preview of this year’s Suzuka 4 Hours race.

Event

The Music Event “8 Fes" is coming to the Suzuka 8 Hours’ “BASE 8 TAI" stage.


“BASE 8 TAI" is an exciting event space full of life and young energy. New this year there will be a special stage for a music event called “8 Fes". Many artists have been invited to appear live. Chill out and enjoy some great music between races. It’s a new dimension to the race day. The lineup will be announced soon.

This year’s theme is all about water and getting wet. “Let’s get soaked and party all day!". Last year’s “BIKE! LIVE! SPLASH!" event in which FMX performances were combined with splashing water was so popular that we decided to go BIG. The wet zone will be expanded to the entire BASE 8 TAI space. There will be “Cooling-Down Areas" where visitors can get soaked anytime they want.
Hands-on events include the “Motorcycle Test Ride". “Experience the Reeling of Riding a Motorcycle" is an event in which unlicensed fans can go for a ride. We will be able to accommodate more than twice as many participants as last year.

Soaking wet & FMX performance, BIKE! LIVE! SPLASH!.


The World's top FMX performances will be combined with a cooling-of service. You can watch dynamic bike performances while being splashed with cool and refreshing water.
  • Get a head start on your friends. Test ride the newest machines!

    A wide range of both foreign and domestic bikes from 250cc to 1000cc will be exhibited. Hop on for a ride of some of the latest models. Who knows? It might be love at first sight!
  • The Riders’ Village, packed with cool and irresistible stuff.

    From custom bike accessories for riders, to motorcycle goods that even non-bikers are sure to want. 8 Fes goods will be on sale too. Come and check out the huge array of stalls.
  • You don’t have a license, but want to give a motorbike a try? Experience a manual motorcycle.

    This is great news for someone who doesn’t have a motorcycle license but wants to try their hand at changing gears riding a manual machine. We invite those to join our “Experience a Manual Motorcycle" event. This year there will be kids’ motorcycles too. Bring the whole family and enjoy two-wheeled fun together.
  • The winner of the first Suzuka 8 Hours, Mr. W. Cooley is coming.

    Mr. W. Cooley, the winner of the Suzuka 8 Hours inaugural race, is coming to the event. In 1978 he was one of the Yoshimura Japan riders and became the first champion of the Suzuka 8 Hours by beating the world famous Honda team. He will make guest appearances on talk shows and do some demonstration riding. Many other guests ‒ including former 8 Hours winners ‒ will be coming too.
  • I am so happy to be returning to Suzuka 8H. First time I went, in 1978, I didn't know what to expect. New country, new race track, very important race, all manufactures there, home country for all... Many problems during practice, but race was perfect! Great fans, culture and Suzuka is great race track - My favorite, very fast. Yoshimura and Suzuki are great companies to race for! The 40th anniversary will be a wonderful time. So good to be back, motorcycle racing is getting big again. To be back in Japan and see race fans will be wonderful time. Can't wait to talk with everyone. See you soon! [Wes Cooley]

Ticket

We offer 2 types of tickets, General Admission seat (Non-reserved) and other ticket. General Admission seat ticket can be purchased on Webike, and the other ticket can be purchased on Suzuka official website.

General Admission seat (Non-reserved) Age 19+ [5,700 JPY]

Valid on Thursday to Sunday
Amusement Park 1-DAY passport included.  

* 5 children (3~18 years old) admission are free with 1 adult ticket holder.


Other Tickets
・Group Ticket (General Admission)
・Reserved seat
・Paddock Pass

About Suzuka Circuit

Suzuka Circuit, which was born as the first full-scale international racing course in Japan.
A great amusement stage where families can enjoy such as the amusement park Motopia, hotels, and restaurants.
From children to adults, you can meet “exciting" things that can be found nowhere else!

World-class International Racing Course

Not only the big races such as F1 and Suzuka 8 hours, but also the driving/ riding sessions for amateur drivers/riders, experiencing programs, and school programs to educate the future racers are held.

Amusement Park for the Rides You Operate by Yourselves

The amusement park “Motopia" has lots of rides that you can operate by yourselves (from 3 years old)! There are also a lot of fun events every season.