2020 Suzuka 8 Hours postponed until November amid COVID-19

The 43rd running of the event was due to take place in July although due to the COVID-19 pandemic the date has now been changed

Jonathan Rea (Suzuka 8 Hours)

THE global COVID-19 pandemic has again caused the motorsport calendar to be reshuffled as the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race changes date from July to November.

The event is the jewel in the crown of Japanese motorcycle sport, and normally draws huge crowds to the track and attracts a global television audience of millions.

The event, which normally takes place in July, will now begin on October 30th and finish on November 1st. The change will be the first time the vent has been ran this late in the year, possibly helping and hindering the teams and riders in equal measure. During July, the temperatures range from lows of 22° to highs of over 30°C, in autumn though the climate is likely to 15°C.

The boss EWC promoter Eurosport Events, Francois Ribeiro, said:

“The global health crisis, the logistical constraints resulting from Japan’s entry restrictions and our priority to protect the health of everyone involved in the FIM EWC, have made it necessary to postpone the Suzuka 8 Hours.

"Praise is due to Mobilityland [Suzuka owner] for adapting the Suzuka calendar to ensure that this major race in the championship remains Japan’s biggest celebration for motorcycling fans."

The postponement until the autumn comes just a couple of weeks after the official Yamaha factory endurance team pulled out of the event, leaving just privately run Yamahas at the event. It’s not clear whether the change of date will cause the Yamaha team to reinvest in the event or curtail their effort for another year.

We’ll bring you more on that as we have it.