The last time he raced in the World Superbike Championship, Akira Yanagawa was going up against the likes of Colin Edwards, Neil Hodgson and Troy Bayliss - eight years on, he will return to the series for a one-off outing at Silverstone.

The Kawasaki stalwart has been called up to replace the sidelined Chris Vermeulen for this event, marking his first WSBK outing since a wild-card run at Sugo back in 2002.

Still, Yanagawa has enjoyed success at WSBK level in the past, scoring three wins during the 1990s and finishing fourth overall back in 1997, while that 2002 outing yielded a pair of sixth place finishes.

While he expects things to be somewhat tougher this time around, he is looking forward to getting back out on the international stage.

"It has been a long time since I raced in World Superbike, not since Sugo in 2002, but it will be a pleasure to join this series once again and race at Silverstone.

"I have a long relationship with Kawasaki and the Ninja ZX-10R machine so I will be out to take the best results possible. I never raced at the old Silverstone but understand it will be fast!"

Yanagawa will be a familiar face to some riders, however, having raced against Noriyuki Haga, James Toseland and Ruben Xaus during the 2002 outing.


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