Two time Suzuka 8 Hour winner Leon Haslam will be spearheading Kawasaki’s assault on the prestigious title, joining Akira Yanagawa and Kazuki Watanabe to form a formidable line-up in Kawasaki’s Official ‘Team Green’ World Endurance line-up for the historic race.
Haslam will take a break from fighting for the BSB title to travel to Japan for the race in July (Friday 29th – Sunday 31st) and will take part in three official tests in Japan leading up to the race aboard the Ninja ZX-10R.
Haslam, who won the iconic race in both 2013 and 2014, is delighted to be competing again this year, and said: “I’m very pleased to have been selected to race in the three-man Kawasaki team and I’m really looking forward to the race and going back to Suzuka.
“I’ve been comfortable on the ZX-10R since I started testing for the BSB season on it and I will have raced on it at six British Superbike rounds by the time Suzuka arrives so I’ll have had plenty of time aboard the machine.”
After seven consecutive years in WSBK for Honda, BMW and Aprilia, Haslam has returned to the British Superbike Championship to ride for Kawasaki UK’s Official British Superbike team, JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
Ross Burridge, Kawasaki UK senior racing and marketing co-ordinator, said: “It is great to see a call up from the Official Kawasaki Suzuka team for one of our British Superbike riders, it shows the pedigree of racing we currently have in the UK domestic series. After the recent success for Leon at this race, it makes perfect sense for him to try and achieve a hat-trick of wins. I, along with everyone else at Kawasaki Motors UK, wish him the best of luck.”
The first Suzuka 8 Hour race ran in July 1978; this year celebrates the 39th 8 Hour event.