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Suzuka 8 Hours

Suzuka 8hours.gif


The Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours (Japanese: 鈴鹿8時間耐久ロードレース - Trans: Suzuka hachi-jikan taikyū rōdo rēsu, Literal Translation: Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race) is an endurance motorcycle race held at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan each year. As the name implies, the race runs for eight hours consecutively and teams are composed of two riders and one alternate.

History

The race began in 1978 as a race for prototype Tourist Trophy Formula One (TT-F1) motorcycles which meant the big four Japanese companies (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha), who had unlimited engineering resources, could use them on the track.

Throughout the years, the race had gone through several rule changes in accordance to the FIM, including the restriction to 750cc for F1 bikes

One major change for the race came in 1993. Due to the high popularity of Superbike racing, which had been a support class in previous 8 Hours races, the race now centered around superbikes. The Formula One class, which at the time was the pinnacle of the race, would be removed altogether. Another category included in the race is the Naked class (for motorcycles without fairings - similar to the streetfighter bikes).

At the event's peak during the 1980s, the race attracted in excess of 130,000 spectators while presently it attracts a crowd around 85,000. The record attendance figure is 160,000 in 1990. The race is part of the FIM Endurance World Championship for motorcycles and with the exception of 2005, due to the high importance the big four Japanese manufacturers place on the race, the governing bodies set a race date that avoids conflict with any of the other major championship races.

Star riders

A main attraction of the Suzuka 8 Hours race is that it normally features star riders from MotoGP and Superbike racing factions from around the world. It is not uncommon for a rider to have the 8 Hours race written into their contracts when they acquire a factory ride in MotoGP or Superbike. If the rider has notable success in their respective class during the season, they will usually negotiate to have the requirement of racing future 8 Hours races removed from their contract. Most high-level riders don't like racing it because it breaks up their mid-season momentum and because it is physically draining. Michael Doohan is an example of one such rider who raced the 8 Hours early in his career but had his contractual obligations to the race removed following his significant success in 500cc (now MotoGP).

On the other hand, high-level Japanese riders return for the race annually as it is regarded by the Japanese as one of the biggest motorsport events on the calendar.

Winners

Year Riders Manufacturer Motorcycle Plate Number
2008 22px-Flag of Japan.png Ryuichi Kiyonari
22px-Flag of Spain.png Carlos Checa
Honda CBR1000RRW 11
2007 22px-Flag of Japan.png Yukio Kagayama
22px-Flag of Japan.png Kousuke Akiyoshi
Suzuki S-GSX-R1000 34
2006 22px-Flag of Japan.png Takeshi Tsujimura
22px-Flag of Japan.png Shinichi Itoh
Honda CBR1000RRW 778
2005 22px-Flag of Japan.png Tohru Ukawa
22px-Flag of Japan.png Ryuichi Kiyonari
Honda CBR1000RRW 7
2004 22px-Flag of Japan.png Tohru Ukawa
22px-Flag of Japan.png Hitoyasu Izutsu
Honda CBR1000RRW 7
2003 22px-Flag of Japan.png Yukio Nukumi
22px-Flag of Japan.png Manabu Kamada
Honda VTR1000SPW 71
2002 22px-Flag of Japan.png Daijiro Kato
22px-Flag of the United States.png Colin Edwards
Honda VTR1000SPW 11
2001 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Valentino Rossi
22px-Flag of the United States.png Colin Edwards
Honda VTR1000SPW 11
2000 22px-Flag of Japan.png Tohru Ukawa
22px-Flag of Japan.png Daijiro Kato
Honda VTR1000SPW 4
1999 22px-Flag of Japan.png Tadayuki Okada
22px-Flag of Brazil.png Alex Barros
Honda RC45 4
1998 22px-Flag of Japan.png Shinichi Itoh
22px-Flag of Japan.png Tohru Ukawa
Honda RC45 33
1997 22px-Flag of Japan.png Shinichi Itoh
22px-Flag of Japan.png Tohru Ukawa
Honda RC45 33
1996 22px-Flag of the United States.png Colin Edwards
22px-Flag of Japan.png Noriyuki Haga
Yamaha YZF750 45
1995 22px-Flag of New Zealand.png Aaron Slight
22px-Flag of Japan.png Tadayuki Okada
Honda RC45 11
1994 22px-Flag of the United States.png Doug Polen
22px-Flag of New Zealand.png Aaron Slight
Honda RC45 11
1993 22px-Flag of the United States.png Scott Russell
22px-Flag of New Zealand.png Aaron Slight
Kawasaki ZXR-7 1
1992 22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Wayne Gardner
22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Daryl Beattie
Honda RVF750 11
1991 22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Wayne Gardner
22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Mick Doohan
Honda RVF750 11
1990 22px-Flag of Japan.png Tadahiko Taira
22px-Flag of the United States.png Eddie Lawson
Yamaha YZF750 21
1989 22px-Flag of France.png Dominique Sarron
22px-Flag of France.png Alex Vieira
Honda RVF750 2
1988 22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Kevin Magee
22px-Flag of the United States.png Wayne Rainey
Yamaha YZF750 3
1987 22px-Flag of Germany.png Martin Wimmer
22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Kevin Magee
Yamaha YZF750 21
1986 22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Wayne Gardner
22px-Flag of France.png Dominique Sarron
Honda RVF750 4
1985 22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Wayne Gardner
22px-Flag of Japan.png Masaki Tokuno
Honda RVF750 3
1984 22px-Flag of the United States.png Mike Baldwin
22px-Flag of the United States.png Fred Merkel
Honda RS750R 1
1983 22px-Flag of France.png Hervé Moineau
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil).png Richard Hubin
Suzuki GS1000R 6
1982 22px-Flag of Japan.png Shigeo Iijima
22px-Flag of Japan.png Shinji Hagiwara
Honda CB900F 27
1981 22px-Flag of the United States.png Mike Baldwin
22px-Flag of the United States.png David Aldana
Honda RS1000 1
1980 22px-Flag of the United States.png Wes Cooley
22px-Flag of New Zealand.png Graeme Crosby
Suzuki GS1000 12
1979 22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Tony Hatton
22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png Michael Cole
Honda CB900 6
1978 22px-Flag of the United States.png Wes Cooley
22px-Flag of the United States.png Mike Baldwin
Suzuki GS1000 2



External links