Pol Espargaro is the latest Yamaha MotoGP star to be liked with this year's Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race.
Earlier in the season factory riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo played down speculation that they could race the new R1 in the prestigious Japanese event, which will also see Casey Stoner make his two-wheel racing return.
Asked about rumours that he could be heading to the July event, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Espargaro replied:
“I don't know. Actually, this is a Yamaha [decision] to see if they go official or satellite again. First the official guys have to choose and if they don't want to go maybe I will go. At the moment I don't know if it's possible or if it is organised.”
Rossi recently posted another picture showing him testing the new R1M at Misano (see below). Such images have fuelled the Suzuka speculation, but it is unlikely that the MotoGP title leader would be prepared to take on the added distraction and risk of a mid-season endurance race.
Indeed, some believe Rossi has agreed to test and develop the R1 instead
of racing at Suzuka.
Meanwhile, Spanish media are reporting that former Moto2 champion Toni Elias could also be heading to Suzuka this year.