After taking a podium in last year’s Suzuka 8-Hour with Team Kagayama, Kevin Schwantz has signaled his intention to race again at the iconic endurance race. Riding for the Yoshimura Legends team, Schwantz will be reunited with his teammate from the 1986 Suzuka 8-Hour race, Satoshi Tsujimoto.
The reunion of the former teammates will help Yoshimura celebrate its 60th anniversary; and since Schwantz & Tsujimoto finished third in 1986, they will be looking again to bring results for Yoshimura Suzuki.
In addition to the “Legends” squad, Yoshimura will also field the two-man Yoshimura Shell Advance Suzuki team, which will be comprised of BSB rider Josh Waters and All Japan Superbike Takuya Tsuda.
“We are glad to announce that the Suzuka 8-Hour this year is going to be one of the most memorable event ever for Yoshimura Japan. It is our 60th Anniversary year since Pops Yoshimura started this business back in 1954 and we are fielding a ‘Legend Team’ to celebrate our racing history,” said Fujio Yoshimura, Yoshimura President & Legend Team Manager.
“The team will run with two very famous riders; one is 1993 WGP Champion Kevin Schwantz and other is 1985-1986 All Japan Formula-1 Class Champion Satoshi Tsujimoto. They were paired together in the 1986 Suzuka 8-Hour and finished third overall. They will challenge not only for a podium finish but also hopefully give a lot to the entertainment side of motorsport as well.”
While the Yoshimura Shell Advance Suzuki team might be Yoshimura’s more competitive entry, Schwantz knows from last year that he has the capability to find another positive result at Suzuka. But for 2014, the honor will be to ride for an historic team that was influential in establishing Schwantz’s legendary career.
“Competing in the 2013 Suzuka 8-Hour with Team Kagayama reminded me of what racing with a great team is all about. I am really looking forward to celebrating Yoshimura’s 60th anniversary of being in business by competing in the 2014 Suzuka 8-Hour on a ‘Pops Yoshimura’ Suzuki,” said Schwantz.
“Pops was a very influential man in my career; I first met him mid-way through the 1985 season riding for Yoshimura. Riding for Pops taught me a lot and helped groom me to be the competitor that I am. He was a real motivator and got the best out of everyone that worked around him.
“In 1994, I presented Pops with my winning Suzuka Grand Prix trophy – the fourth Japanese win of my career – in the Suzuki garage. That photo is still one of my favourites of all time. Before his passing, he told me I was his only rider to ever win a 500cc World Championship, or as it is known today MotoGP, and since his passing his words still hold true. To be teamed with my team-mate from 1986, Satoshi Tsujimoto, is a real honour. Thank you to the Suzuka circuit and everybody at Yoshimura Japan for the opportunity.”
Source: Suzuki Racing