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Schwantz optimistic of Suzuka 8-Hour victory
24 July 2013
Former 500cc Grand Prix world champion Kevin Schwantz feels he has a 'good chance' of adding the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hour race in Japan to his illustrious list of career achievements this weekend.
The 48-year-old American is part of Yukio Kagayama's Suzuki team along with World Superbike legend 'Nitro' Nori Haga and Kagayama himself in one of the most sensational line-ups at Suzuka.
“I'm looking forward to racing the Suzuka 8-Hour with Noriyuki and Yukio on a Suzuki GSX-R1000,” said Schwantz.
“Suzuka holds a special place in my heart because that is where I won my first 500cc Grand Prix in 1988.
“The last time I raced the 8-Hour was in 1992 with Doug Chandler and we did not finish due to mechanical issues,” he added.
“With only two riders, it used to be a really, really physical race and now with three riders, it is still going to be tough but not quite as much.
“I've never won the 8-Hour and with team-mates as strong as Yukio and Nori, along with our Dunlop tyres, I think we stand a good chance.”
A total of 63 teams have entered Japan's most-prestigious motorcycle race on the calendar, which attracts crowds upwards of 80,000.
A record attendance of 160,000 watched the event in 1990.
Last year, Jonathan Rea won the Suzuka 8-Hour race with Kosuke Akiyoshi and Tadayuki Okada in the FCC TSR Honda team.