De Puniet joins Waters for Suzuka 8hr

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MCE British Superbike star Josh Waters will be joined on the Yoshimura Suzuki Suzuka 8hrs team for this year’s iconic race by Suzuki MotoGP test rider Randy de Puniet, as the team attempt to steal the crown away from Honda at their home track.

De Puniet, who has never raced the prestigious 8hr before, has been riding the new Suzuki MotoGP bike as test and development rider, and will join Waters, an experienced hand at endurance racing, for July's race.

De Puniet said after the announcement: “I'm really excited to race this year at the Suzuka 8-Hour race in July with Team Yoshimura Suzuki. I have always been interested in racing here, because it's an iconic race and it's also one of my favorite tracks. I have good memories of racing there with my first GP podium in 2002, 250cc class.

“For me, it will be a new experience to do an endurance race, to share a bike, and also to ride this Superbike machinery. It will be a special event because it's the 60th Anniversary of the Yoshimura Team and I'm really happy to be there for it. I will do my very best to win this race for Suzuki and Yoshimura.”

Tyco Suzuki rider Waters, who rode for the Yamaha Austria team at the event last year, will be joined by a host of British-based talent at the event, with Josh Brookes and Tommy Bridewell running for the Yamaha team this year, while De Puniet and Waters will be joined under the Yoshimura banner by a satellite team of Kevin Schwantz and Satoshi Tsujimoto.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer