Lecuona to lead Honda's Suzuka 8 Hours line-up

Honda World Superbike rider Iker Lecuona will headline the rider line-up for the marque’s factory entry in this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours.

Lecuona to lead Honda's Suzuka 8 Hours line-up
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Lecuona will be joined by three-time Suzuka winner Takumi Takahashi and HRC test rider Tetsuta Nagashima aboard the works #33 bike for the FIM Endurance World Championship’s blue riband event on August 5-7.

The ex-Tech 3 KTM MotoGP rider has made an impressive start to his WSBK career this year, finishing on the podium in only his second appearance at Assen. With four of the 12 rounds complete, he sits fifth in the riders’ standings as the top Honda representative, ahead of factory Ducati man Michael Ruben Rinaldi and works Kawasaki rider Alex Lowes.

The recruitment follows Lecuona's surprise appearance at the Suzuka SUPER GT round in May alongside his Honda WSBK teammate Xavi Vierge.

It is understood that Vierge, who recently picked up multiple fractures in a crash at Misano, tested Honda's endurance-spec CBR1000RR but was passed over for the seat.

“I am excited to take on the Suzuka 8 Hours race with Team HRC,” said Lecuona ahead of his Suzuka 8 Hours debut.

“This will be the first time I'm competing in an endurance race. I know the Suzuka race is physically very tough for the rider, with the high temperatures, extreme humidity and all the overtaking, but I really like the circuit and can't wait to get started. 

“Together with my teammates and technical staff, I will do my best to reach the top of the podium. See you at Suzuka.”

As was the case in previous years, Honda’s factory effort will be complemented by eight customer teams, including Suzuka 8 Hours regular FCC TSR.

The French outfit will race with its full season FIM EWC line-up of Josh Hook, Gino Rea and Mike Di Meglio, with the first-named a regular part of its assault on the Japanese endurance classic.

Another familiar presence on the grid will be three-time WSBK race winner Ryuichi Kiyonari, who will be bidding for his fifth victory at Suzuka as he joins Takuma Kunimine and a yet-to-be named rider at TOHO Racing.

Honda last won the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2014 with Takahashi, Michael van der Mark and Leon Haslam.

Honda's 2022 Suzuka 8 Hours line-up:

Bike #

Team

Machine

Rider

5

F.C.C. TSR Honda France

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE SP

Josh Hook

Gino Rea

Mike Di Meglio

17

Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE

Kosuke Sakumoto

Kazuma Watanabe

Taiga Hada

33

Team HRC

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE SP

Tetsuta Nagashima ☆

Takumi Takahashi☆

Iker Lecuona ☆

40

Team ATJ with Japan Post

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE

Satoru Iwata

Yuki Takahashi

Tomoyoshi Koyama

72

Honda DREAM RT Sakurai Honda

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE

Sodo Hamahara

Daijiro Hiura

Yuki Kunii

73

SDG Honda Racing

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE

Teppei Nagoe

Naomichi Uramoto

Ikuhiro Enokido

88

Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE

Md Zaqhwan Bin Zaidi

Gerry Salim

TBA

104

TOHO Racing

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE

Ryuichi Kiyonari

Takuma Kunimine

TBA

TBA

Murayama.Honda.Dream.RT

CBR1000RR-R
FIREBLADE

Kosuke Akiyoshi

Osamu Deguchi

Yoshihiro Konno

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The 2022 Suzuka 8 Hours entry list in full

The 2022 Suzuka 8 Hours entry list in full