Bennetts British Superbike championship star Bradley Ray will make his Suzuka 8 Hours debut next month with the Yoshimura Suzuki squad alongside former BSB teammate Sylvain Guintoli and Japanese duo Takuya Tsuda and Kazuki Watanabe.

Ray has completed a number of private tests with the Japanese manufacturer in recent weeks in Japan having impressed in the British championship and has secured a Suzuka entry with the factory squad.

The British rider joins a strong line-up of Suzuki’s MotoGP test riders Guintoli and Tsuda plus Japanese JSB1000 rider Watanabe.

Despite this year marking his maiden start at the iconic endurance race, Ray is already targeting victory for Suzuki.

“I am so honoured and privileged to be invited by the Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing Team to take part in the famous Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race,” Ray said. “This will be my first time taking part in the event and I am extremely excited.

“I'm looking forward to teaming up with Sylvain Guintoli, Takuya Tsuda and Kazuki Watanabe as they have all done the Suzuka 8 Hours race before and have an experience in the Yoshimura Suzuki team. We will all be pushing hard as a team to get on the top step of the podium this year.”

Ray will face off against a number of fellow BSB rivals including Dan Linfoot (Honda), Leon Haslam (Kawasaki), Christian Iddon and Peter Hickman (both BMW).

Haslam is joined by reigning World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea in the factory Kawasaki squad, while defending Suzuka champions Yamaha return with an unchanged line-up of Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Katsuyuki Nakasuga.

Honda has also ramped up its Suzuka efforts this year with a HRC factory effort for the first time in a decade with Leon Camier, Takaaki Nakagami and Takumi Takahashi.

Ray is also tipped to make the move to World Superbikes next year with Suzuki as it plans a return to the series.

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