Suzuki Backtracks on Racing Exit With New Major Factory Race Entry

Suzuki has announced it will enter the 2024 Suzuka 8 Hours as a factory team, and will race a GSX-R1000 with sustainable fuels

Team Suzuki CN Challenge

The 2024 Suzuka 8 Hours will feature a full factory entry from Suzuki, which will enter a GSX-R1000 in the historic race.

The Suzuka 8 Hour forms a part of the FIM Endurance World Championship, which features an Experimental Class intended for motorcycles that don’t conform to engineering norms. Bikes which have featured in the class have included motorcycles with hub centre steering, but the GSX-R1000 Suzuki will enter this year will use a traditional upside-down front fork. What marks this GSX-R1000 out is its fuel, which will be partly of non-fossil origin.

Sylvain Guintoli on Yoshimura SERT Suzuki, 2023 FIM EWC.

Specifically, Suzuki will fill its factory race bike with E40 fuel from Elf, more precisely the French company’s Moto R40 FIM 40% bio-sourced fuel.

Ironically, Suzuki has made this commitment for the edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours that runs in the same year as MotoGP - which Suzuki left at the end of 2022 - has also switched to 40% non-fossil fuel.

Suzuki’s rider line-up for the race is as yet unconfirmed, but with no factory race team in any major series, it’s unlikely that the Hamamatsu marque will be able to put together a line-up capable of challenging for victory. And, as MotoGP proved at its first 2024 race at the Qatar Grand Prix when it ran 14 seconds faster than in 2023, there is unlikely to be a performance deficit caused by the non-fossil element of the fuel.

Suzuki says the goal of its 8 Hours entry, which will be managed by its former MotoGP project leader Shinichi Sahara, is to “accelerate development of environmental performance technologies through participating physically in the demanding conditions of endurance racing. 

“By verifying valuable information gathered through this participation, we will discover higher goals and promote feeding back of technologies to our future production models.”

Suzuki’s entry will be under the banner Team Suzuki CN Challenge, and the brand - along with its technical partners for the race, which include Yoshimura Japan - will also use it to develop sustainable technology in other areas of the bike, too, such as the muffler, tires, oil, fairings, and brakes.
The 2024 Suzuka 8 Hours is scheduled for 19 July 2024.

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