Fresh from his third World Superbike win of the season at Brno, Jonathan Rea is now setting his sights on claiming a debut victory in the annual Suzuka 8 Hours.
The Northern Irishman will team up with Kosuke Akiyoshi – last seen racing for Interwetten in MotoGP – and Moto2 racer Yuki Takahashi in the F.C.C. TSR Honda team in what will be his first attempt at the endurance classic.
A race that has been won by a number of illustrious riders over the years, most notably Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards in 2001, Rea claims that both he and Honda expect nothing less than victory on this occasion.
“I can't wait for the race,” he said. “I am looking forward to a bit of a new challenge, especially racing with Akiyoshi because I saw him at the 8 Hours a few years ago. Suzuka is a circuit I really enjoy riding – it's a shame we can't use it as a World Superbike circuit.
“I am going there to win; it's not one of these things where I want to just take part. I travelled to Japan immediately after the Brno WSBK race to test at Suzuka. I know Honda is expecting victory and that is what I am willing to do. It's an unbelievable event and it's always great how passionate people are about it.”