Yamaha names line-ups for Suzuka 8h title defence
Yamaha has added World Superbike star Michael van der Mark to its rider line-up for this year's Suzuka 8 Hours.
Van der Mark, who joined the Yamaha WSBK squad from Honda at the start of the year, replaces KTM MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro alongside defending champions Alex Lowes and Katsuyuki Nakasuga on the #21 YZF-R1.
Espargaro was also part of the victorious 2015 Yamaha squad, alongside then-Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Bradley Smith and Japanese Superbike regular and occasional MotoGP wildcard Nakasuga.
After being part of Honda's winning crew in 2013 and 2014, van der Mark will be searching for his third Suzuka victory this July.
"I'm really looking forward to racing at the Suzuka 8 Hours again," said the Dutchman. "I've been racing there for four years now and won two times, so it will be a really special event for me to come back and do it with Yamaha.
"We have a really strong team so I'm going to give everything I've got to try and win again and make it really special for Yamaha and for all the fans."
Yamaha's second factory bike for the Suzuka 8 Hours, the #7 YART machine, will have its regular FIM Endurance World Championship squad of Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Kohta Nozane.
The trio took second place in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours and third in the Oschersleben 8 Hours, putting them fourth in the EWC standings.
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