One of our favorite events each year, the Suzuka 8-Hours is perhaps one of the most important races on the motorcycle calendar, as the Japanese brands jockey to prove who is the best on their home turf.
However, the legendary Japanese race is not immune to the global situation relating to the outbreak of the coronavirus, and from that we saw its original July race date moved to the beginning of November.
Now with new concerns, the endurance race and finale of the FIM Endurance World Championship calendar has been unfortunately canceled altogether.
The cancelation comes because of concerns regarding travel restrictions into Japan, especially because of the high number of foreign riders who are solicited to ride in Japanese teams at Suzuka.
Travel into Japan is restricted right now, even for business travelers, as the island nation continues to wrestle with the COVID-19 disease outbreak.
This leads to a situation where only domestic teams would be able to race at the Suzuka 8-Hours, which would be a major blow to the ethos of this iconic race.
As such, along with many other countries that have tight restrictions entry and re-entry, the logistics of the Suzuka 8-Hours is untenable for the racing plans to continue.
Accordingly the FIM, Eurosport Events (the EWC promoter), and Mobilityland (the Suzuka 8-Hours promoter) have decided to cancel this year’s race.
Now on its 43rd edition of the race, 2020 marks the first time that the Suzuka 8-Hours has not been run. These are the times we live in. Hopefully we can look forward to the 2021 edition.
“We had been preparing for the “Coca-Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race to be held on November 1st together with all of the fans and stakeholders involved in this race event but, with anguish, we find no alternative but to make the decision to cancel it in consideration of the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Japan and overseas and the fact that there is no prospect of deregulation of immigration restrictions on visitors from abroad at this stage in Japan,” said Kaoru Tanaka, President Representative Director of Mobilityland Corporation
“Once again, we extend our apologies and regrets to all the fans who were looking forward to attending the Suzuka 8 Hours, which had been postponed from the originally scheduled date in July to November. We also extend our sincere regrets to all of the other stakeholders involved in this race event and we ask for everyone’s kind understanding and cooperation going forward.”
“In closing, let us say that we are determined to make preparations so that the 2021 Suzuka 8 Hours event will be even more enjoyable for the fans than ever before.”
Source: FIM EWC; Photo: © 2019 Steve English / Racing Lowdown – All Rights Reserved