Leon Camier will team up with Japanese duo Takumi Takahashi and Takaaki Nakagami to form the rider line-up for the HRC-run Red Bull Honda with Japan Post, marking the return of the factory effort for the first time in a decade at the Suzuka 8 Hours.

After a series of near-misses at the iconic endurance race, Honda has opted to enter HRC with new backing from Red Bull to target victory at Suzuka.

MotoGP test rider Takahashi is joined by LCR Honda’s Nakagami from MotoGP and Red Bull Honda’s Camier from World Superbikes, and the team will run a Honda CBR1000RRW factory bike, a race-specification bike based on the CBR1000RR SP2 which Camier competes with in WorldSBK.

Camier, who had been strongly tipped with a Suzuka 8 Hours return, is relishing the opportunity and is solely focusing on a shot at victory for Honda.

“I’m looking forward to competing in the Suzuka 8 hours with Honda’s factory team,” Camier said. “We’ve done testing for the Suzuka 8 hours and are completely prepared.

“Takumi has won the Suzuka 8 hours three times, and Nakagami is a competitive MotoGP rider. Our combined effort is needed to win, so I firmly believe we can do it.”

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The factory Honda outfit will be joined by a number of fellow Honda squads, running the CBR1000RR SP2 bike, including Endurance World Championship regulars F.C.C. TSR Honda France with its usual line-up of Freddy Foray, Josh Hook and Alan Techer.

The KYB Moriwaki Motul Racing Honda squad also returns to Suzuka from its regular Japanese Superbike series involvements with Yuki Takahashi, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Bennetts British Superbike regular Dan Linfoot.

Three-time Suzuka 8 Hours winners MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO also return for the endurance race with Ryo Mizuno, Dominique Aegerter and Patrick Jacobsen on rider duties.

Honda is aiming to end Yamaha’s run of three consecutive Suzuka 8 Hours victories having last tasted victory in 2014 with Takahashi, Michael van der Mark and Leon Haslam. Haslam is part of the factory Kawasaki effort while van der Mark is in the factory Yamaha line-up for this year’s event.

The 41st Suzuka 8 Hours takes place on July 27-29.

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