Suzuki MotoGP test rider Nobuatsu Aoki will join 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz and former All Japan Superbike champion Satoshi Tsujimoto for the Suzuka 8-Hour race in July.

The trio will race for the Yoshimura Suzuki Legend Team.

"I've had many concerns about making the best choice to appoint a third rider for the [team]," said Yoshimura President and Legend Team Manager Fujio Yoshimura.

"The main concern was the physical condition of both Schwantz and Tsujimoto in the gruelling heat during the race. They are still fit and motivated, but completing eight hours is really tough. Also, even though they have brilliant racing histories and experience, it is not so easy to advance to the Top-10 Trial, so my choice was to pick Nobuatsu Aoki as the third rider.

"He has been racing with Team Yoshimura at the Suzuka 8-Hour for the last six years and there has been nothing to complain about with his performance or reliability in the team. He knows our GSX-R, Bridgestone tyres and the Suzuka Circuit very well, and both Schwantz and Tsujimoto have great respect for him because of his capability and also in helping develop a winning machine!

"It is a great honour to have riders like Schwantz, Tsujimoto and Aoki for Yoshimura's 60th Anniversary race, and it is going to be one of the most memorable events for us."

Former grand prix racer Aoki, currently helping Suzuki prepare for its 2015 MotoGP return, said he is delighted to ride alongside his heroes.

"Both Kevin Schwantz and Satoshi Tsujimoto have been my heroes since I was a teenager, and the Team Manager Fujio Yoshimura has been a big name in racing. I am proud to be one of the riders in the Legend Team to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Yoshimura company," commented Aoki.

"My duty is leading the team to the victory with my experience, and I will do my best. It will be the seventh time that I have raced the Suzuka 8-Hour in the Yoshimura team and I am honoured that I am also the rider with largest number of Yoshimura appearances in its history."

Schwantz added: "It is great to have Nobu on the team and I look forward to riding with him. I had to ride against him last year; and now we get to ride with him this year!"

In celebration of the company's 60th Anniversary, Yoshimura will also run a second team managed by Yohei Kato, comprising Japan's Takuya Tsuda and Australian Josh Waters.

The Suzuka 8-Hour race, a round of the FIM World Endurance Championship, takes place in Japan on July 27th.



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