HONDA TT LEGENDS SET FOR SUZUKA 8-HOUR

John McGuinness in action at the Bol d'Or

John McGuinness in action at the Bol d’Or

Jason O’Halloran at the 8-hours of Doha

Jason O’Halloran at the 8-hours of Doha

Following a successful road racing season with victories at both the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT, the Honda TT Legends team is gearing up for one of the most difficult races of the Endurance World Championship – the Suzuka 8-hour in Japan. 

Regular riders John McGuinness and Cameron Donald will be joined by Samsung Honda British Superstock star Jason O’Halloran, who replaces the injured Simon Andrews for the legendary race at the Honda-owned circuit. The Honda TT Legends hope to continue what has so-far been a successful season. The team completed the Bol d’Or 24-hour in April and secured its first-ever EWC podium at the 8-hours of Doha in June to lie second overall in the championship standings.

60 teams will take part in this year’s Suzuka 8-hour, including over 50 specialist Japanese squads with valuable expertise of the notoriously difficult race. McGuinness, Donald and O’Halloran all have previous experience at Suzuka, and with the combined force of the super-slick Honda TT Legends pit crew and the 2012 ABS-equipped Fireblade, they hope to rise to the challenge and secure enough championship points to remain in the top three in the EWC standings.

Neil Tuxworth 

We’re going into the third round of the Endurance World Championship in a strong position in the standings, but we obviously appreciate that the Suzuka 8-hour is the most difficult race of the year. Not only does it take place in some of the most challenging conditions possible, but it is entered by many factory teams from Japan who are experts on the track. Having said that, I feel confident in the three riders in our line-up. They all have experience of the circuit and the race and hopefully we can have another trouble-free race to score some points. I’d like to think that we can remain in the top three in the championship standings before the two final rounds of the year. 

John McGuinness

I’m excited about going back to Suzuka for a second time. It’s going to be much better now that we have experience of the track and I’ve been looking forward to this one since we left last year! It’s such an iconic event and it would be amazing to do well there. The team has been doing a great job recently – the bike is going well and the stand-in squad got a brilliant result in Qatar. Hopefully we can finish the race and score some valuable points.  

Cameron Donald 

Suzuka would have to rate as one of my favourite circuits. It’s technically challenging and usually raced in very hot conditions so it’s never easy! Having had the opportunity to learn the circuit last year, I’m looking forward to building on that knowledge. Racing for Honda in Japan is always an honour and I will be giving it my all. We’re aiming for a strong result to add as many points as possible to our championship effort. I look forward to joining the team again and also my fellow country man Jason, who I’m sure will be a great asset at a circuit he knows well. 

Jason O’Halloran 

It was a such an honour to race for the Honda TT Legends at Qatar so I’m excited and flattered to be asked to join the team in Japan. It’s a really slick crew and the Qatar race went so smoothly with no real drama – I hope we can do the same again. I did the Suzuka 8-hour in 2008 and really enjoyed the experience so I’m definitely looking forward to doing it for a second time. It’s such an iconic event and to compete there with Honda will be fantastic.

The 8-hour race will take place on Sunday 29 July, starting at 11.30am Japan Standard Time, 03.30am British Summer Time and 04.30am Central European Summer Time. For live timing please visit www.fim-live.com

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Suzuka 8-hour schedule (JST)
Thursday 26 July

13.30 Free Practice
15.40 Free Practice

Friday 27 July
11.00-11.30 1st Qualifying
11.45-12.15 1st Qualifying
12.30-13.00 1st Qualifying
14.00-14.55 Pit Walk
15.15-15.45 2nd Qualifying
16.00-16.30 2nd Qualifying
16.45-17.15 2nd Qualifying
18.15-19.30 Night Practice

Saturday 28 July 
13.15-13.55 Pit Walk

Sunday 29 July
07.00-08.00 Pit Walk
08.30 09.15 Warm-up
09.50 10.20 Pit Walk
10.50 11.30 Start Procedure
11.30 19.30 Race

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