Three-time MCE British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari is set to make a switch to Suzuki machinery to compete in the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race after getting the green light from his BSB Buildbase BMW team.

The Japanese rider, a four-time winner at Suzuka 8 Hours, will prepare for his competitive debut with Suzuki as part of #17 Team Kagayama and will team-mate former MotoGP and World Superbike stars Yukio Kagayama and Noriyuki Haga.

The triple BSB champ is delighted to be returning to Suzuka and thanked Stuart and Steve Hicken for giving him the go-ahead this year.

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"I am happy that Yukio-san Kagayama asked me to join him and that Stuart and Steve allowed me to do so with open arms," Kiyonari said. "I missed Suzuka last year, and this is my first time to ride the Suzuki GSX-R1000, but I will have two great seniors on my side to win this race. I look forward to meet my Japanese fans, and hope they will support me like they did in the past years."

Kiyonari is currently competing in the fifth round of the 2015 BSB championship at Knockhill this weekend (3-5 July) looking to get his season back on track after a difficult start to the year.

Immediately after the races in Scotland he will fly to Japan for an official test at Suzuka on the 7-8 July, which will mark his first experience with the Suzuki.

The BSB rider completes a formidable line-up which sees a total of six Suzuka 8 Hours wins between them and over 50 race victories in the World Championships.

Kagayama is confident the team has all the experience to claim victory this year and is thrilled to get Kiyonari on board.

"This year, we have Kiyo who won the 8 Hours four times, and Haga who won the World Championship 43 times, so I hope to win this race this year," Kagayama said. "It's amazing that three riders that once were rivals in the World Superbike are now teammates. I thank the both of them that they accepted my offer. I also thank Stuart and Steve Hicken for their kind understanding to let Kiyo race with us."

The 28th Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race acts as round two of the 2015 FIM Endurance World Championship Series and is set to take place between the 23-26 July.