Suzuka 8 Hours returnee Team HRC Honda has unveiled the CBR 1000 RRW with which it will be targeting the win. Team HRC is officially back in the running after a 10-year absence, with Tohru Ukawa, a five-time winner of the Suzuka 8 Hours, as team manager.
Honda is officially returning to the Suzuka 8 Hours, firmly determined to take back control of the race after three back-to-back wins by Yamaha Factory. This past weekend in Suzuka, Team HRC unveiled the Honda CBR 1000 RRW we will see on the starting grid of the 2018 race. Takumi Takahashi, the 2017 JSB 1000 champion, is riding the same bike in this year’s Japanese Superbike championship.
Takumi Takahashi, a three-time winner of the Suzuka 8 Hours with the Musashi RT Harc-Pro Honda team, is also slated to be one of the three Team HRC riders targeting the win at Suzuka this coming 29 July. Together with Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark, he was the last to have taken a Honda to the win at the Suzuka 8 Hours, back in 2014.
Tohru Ukawa has been appointed team manager of the factory Honda team setting out to win back the Suzuka title. A former MotoGP rider, Ukawa also holds the record for the most wins at the Suzuka 8 Hours. He has won Suzuka no fewer than five times, riding a Honda each time: in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2005.
‘We’re aiming for the win, obviously’, says Tohru Ukawa, ‘but the key thing is to recreate an official HRC team to give young Honda riders a renewed dream, fresh ambition and a new future.’