Dominique Aegerter will become the first Moto2 rider to take part in the Suzuka 8 Hours after agreeing to join Team Kagayama, which last year enjoyed a podium finish with MotoGP legend Kevin Schwantz.

As well as team boss Yukio Kagayama, Aegerter will join another former grand prix rider, Noriyuki Haga, on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery in the July event.

"I love Japan, and, it's the home of Shoya Tomizawa," said Aegerter, referring to his former Moto2 team-mate who lost his life at Misano in 2010. "I thank the team that they gave me this opportunity to race in a big event like the Suzuka 8 Hours. It's a very popular race in Japan, and my racing in it may help people in Europe know how great this race is.

"This is my first time to ride a 1000cc machine, but there are no problems physically. There are many top riders from the World Superbike Championship and the Japanese National Championship that are going to be racing, so it will be a very competitive race. But with Kagayama, Haga, and myself, there is no doubt that we will be a stronger Team Kagayama than last year."

Haga has clear targets for this year's event: "We achieved a podium finish last year with Kevin and Kagayama, and we are aiming for the win this year with Dominique. I hope our fans cheer us so that we can win the race."

It has become unusual for grand prix riders to take part in the famous Japanese endurance race, also a part of the FIM Endurance World Championship, due to its running often clashing with MotoGP calendar, usually falling on or around the now removed Laguna Seca race.

World Superbike riders have been regulars in their absence with Leon Haslam and Michael Van Der Mark winning the 2013 race after teaming up with Takumi Takahashi.

The last MotoGP paddock rider to win the event was Colin Edwards in 2002 with Daijiro Kato. Edwards also won the previous year with Valentino Rossi.

Suzuki have not taken a win at the 8 Hours since 2009.

Technomag Suter rider Aegerter, who achieved a career best second place this year in Jerez, his second podium finish this far this season, is currently fourth overall ahead of the Catalunya round of the Moto2 championship.

Schwantz also returns to Suzuka in 2014, but this time for the Yoshimura Suzuki Legends Team.


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