Tommy Bridewell is being lined up to make his Suzuka 8 Hours debut later this year alongside Josh Brookes as part of the successful Monster YART squad.
The British Superbike front runner, a Title Showdown contender with Supersonic BMW in 2012, joins Brookes in switching to the Milwaukee Yamaha BSB team in 2014, with both riders set to strengthen ties with the manufacturer when they join YART (Yamaha Austria Racing Team) in tackling the prestigious endurance event.
The duo will be joined by Katsuyuki Nakasuga in the three-man team as they look to give Yamaha its first Suzuka 8 Hours win since 1996, when Colin Edwards and Noriyuki Haga were triumphant.
"I'm really looking forward to it,” Bridewell said. “I have been able to up my training regime in recent months so I am hoping I should be able to cope with the heat, and spending long stints on the bike, well enough. It will be a learning year for me so I am not expecting there to be a lot of pressure on me.
“I just want to go out there and enjoy the experience. There will be different tyres to learn but I have already been doing my homework on the track. It should be good fun."
Though the endurance event has been traditionally dominated by local Japanese riders during its history, recent winners have included Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark (alongside Takumi Takahashi) in 2013, while Jonathan Rea (alongside Kousuke Akiyoshi and Tadayuki Okada) was also a winner in 2012.
MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi is also a winner of the event, claiming victory alongside Colin Edwards in 2001.