Suzuka 8H: Entry List (So Far)
Posted: 18th July 2017
GMT94, YART and Honda Endurance stick with proven riders – SERT and FCC bring in specialists – Miller, Bradl, Haslam, Lowes, V.d.Mark, Guintoli, Brookes, Schrotter, Itoh, Kagayama, Kiyonari – MotoBum, Dog House, Clever Wolf, Ace Cafe
The entry list for the Suzuka 8 Hour race is a constantly moving feast, but with ten days to go to the race we're hoping it's settled down enough to make sense. We've split our report into permanent teams, celebrity riders and the weird and wacky, but obviously there's some crossover. And never forge that GMT94, SERT and YART are chasing a championship at Suzuka.Download the 2017 Suzuka 8 Hour entry list here: suzuka-2017-entry-list.pdf
SERT Suzuki will field Sodo Hamahara as their third rider rather than Alex Cudlin. Vincent Philippe and Etienne Masson will be the other two riders on the team's GSX-R750.
22 year old Hamahara is currently riding in the Japanese Superbike Championship, holding 5th position in his first season of competition.
GMT94 Yamaha will un their regular team of David Checa, Niccolo Canepa and Mike Di Meglio, as will Honda Endurance with Julien Da Costa, Sebastien Gimbert and Freddy Foray.
YART Yamaha will run their regular – and strong – team of Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Kohta Nozane.
FCC TSR Honda have added Grand Prix regulars Stefan Bradl and Dominique Aegerter to regular rider Randy de Puniet for a one-off Suzuka ride. Bolliger Kawasaki will be giving Horst Saiger his last regular ride with them in World Endurance; he will be partnered by Roman Stam and Michael Savary. EVA Trickstar Kawasaki will be at their Suzuka home round with Nigon, Izutsu and leblanc, Team Rabid Transit will field Morais, Estment and Cretu. EKO IV BMW will run Ghanem, Hanika and Choy, and MotoBox Kremer will run Dehaye and Viehmann.
I'm a Celebrity...
Suzuka always attracts a cluster of non-Endurance big names who see this as a chance to get noticed by the factories, or to repay the offer of a supported ride in Grands Prix or World Supers. The list of celebrity riders is long - we've already mentioned Bradl and Aegerter - but here are some more for the autograph hunters:
...Get Me Out Of Here
The Suzuka 8 Hour entry list is also known for it's... unusual team names and this year is no exception. Step forward ClubNext & MotoBum, Dog House Bom Kood, TransMapRacing Team Nagano with Ace Cafe and Clever Wolf Racing and several others whose names get lost in translation. And if we had an award for optimism it'd go to Banner Racing Ducati Osaka East and Team de''Light who are the only teams to enter bikes that aren't across the frame four cylinder Japanese bikes, in the shape of Ducati Panigale Rs; good luck both.
Words: Martin Gelder. Photos: FIM EWC