On Wednesday June 19, the first test session organized by Suzuka Circuit was held at Suzuka Circuit in preparation for the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race (Suzuka 8 Hours, to be held on Sunday, July 21).

A total of 46 teams have entered the Suzuka 8 Hours, including those competing in the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC), those seeded based on last year’s results, those that have qualified through two 8 Hours trials, and those recommended by the organizers. This test session saw the participation of 40 teams.

As it sets out with the aim of achieving a third consecutive win, Team HRC with Japan Post fielded Takumi Takahashi, Teppei Nagoe, and Johann Zarco, the trio riding together for the first time at this test, with Kohta Arakawa joining as the fourth rider.

Leading up to the event, Team HRC with Japan Post has conducted three tests, including  a private test, making this their final test before the main event. In today’s sessions, Zarco, who will make his first appearance in Suzuka 8 Hours, was supported by Takahashi, a Suzuka 8 Hours specialist and the team’s lead rider. Taking to the track together, Takahashi led Zarco and occasionally trailed him to advise him on how to tackle the Suzuka circuit. Zarco quickly adapted and showcased his MotoGP-level abilities.

The 40 teams were split into Groups A and B. For each group, a 45-minute Session 1 in the morning, a 45-minute Session 2 in the afternoon, a 75-minute Session 3, and a 70-minute night-session starting at 6:40 pm, Session 4, was allocated for teams to test their bikes.

In Session 1, Team HRC with Japan Post set the pace, fastest with a reference of 2’06.867, before setting a best of 2’08.472 in Session 2 to place sixth. Session 3 saw the squad achieve the third fastest time with 2’07.304.

In the night session, Team HRC with Japan Post was 10th with 2’08.915.

For the day sessions overall, Team HRC with Japan Post was 4th fastest with 2’06.867.

Team HRC with Japan Post riders’ best lap times were 2’6.867 (Takahashi), 2’7.304 (Zarco), and 2’7.510 (Nagoe).

Takumi Takahashi 30

Our main goal for this test was to help Zarco get accustomed to the bike and the track. I had participated in the previous four manufacturer joint tests, so I tried to pass my experiences on to Zarco. Nagoe is a younger rider, and considering I have more experience in the 8 Hours, I want to offer as much advice as possible. I think the test is going well, but there are still some areas that we need to work on, and we will continue to make improvements to get closer to 100%.

Teppei Nagoe 30

Zarco joined us for the first time, so he rode one of the two bikes, while Takahashi and I shared the other. I left the set-up to Takahashi. I was able to get a long run in although we have a limited number of tires. We still haven’t matched last year’s Team HRC with Japan Post lap times, but we only need to improve by 0.5s, so we will continue testing to achieve that goal.

Johann Zarco 30

The Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race has a rich history, and it's a race I've always wanted to participate in. Changes to the MotoGP schedule have finally allowed this to happen. This was my first time to ride at Suzuka, and I felt it was a circuit that required special skills, so I want to tackle it with the help of my experienced teammates. The important thing is to avoid making mistakes, and I will continue to do my best in the tests.

Location Information

SUZUKA 8HOURS ESSENTIAL* Name: SUZUKA CIRCUIT Location: 7992 Ino-Cho, Suzuka-shi, Mie-ken 510-0295, Japan Track length: 5.821 kilometres Race distance: 8 hours Official website Suzuka Circuit Suzuka Circuit Operated by Honda-owned Mobilityland, Suzuka features a unique figure-of-eight layout and presents a considerable challenge for riders thanks to its wide variety of corners.… read more.

7992 Inoucho, Suzuka, Mie, Japan - View in Google Maps


POLE POSITION RECORD 2'04.934s Team HRC - Tetsuta Nagashima - Honda CBR1000RR-R SP (2022)
RACE RECORD 2'06.805s Kawasaki Racing Team - Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki ZX10RR  (2019)