Yamaha pull out of Suzuka 8 Hours

The official Yamaha endurance team has withdrawn from this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours event scheduled for July

Suzuka 8 Hours

YAMAHA has pulled out from the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race which is still scheduled to take place in July this year.

The move will come as a shock to many will mean only privately run Yamahas will take to the grid if the event still goes ahead as planned on July 19th. The withdrawal from the event will be the first time since 2014 that a full factory-backed Yamaha team has not competed at the event.

The 2019 running of the 8 Hours saw controversy after the flag, with rival teams lodging complaints against Yamaha for not returning to Parc Ferme after a race-ending red flag brought a close to proceedings. The complaint was upheld, and Yamaha were disqualified, gifting Kawasaki and Jonathan Rea the victory.

The result would have been a bitter pill to swallow for the team, as the 8 Hours endurance race is the jewel in the crown of the Japanese racing calendar, drawing huge crowds at the event and a TV audience of millions around the globe.

Jonathan Rea (Suzuka 8 Hours)

Why has the Yamaha team pulled out of the Suzuka 8 Hours?

The reasons behind the withdrawal are not yet fully known, with only a short statement being issued on Wednesday that stated: “We have decided to suspend that activity from this season”. One train of thought is that Yamaha is pre-empting the event being cancelled further down the line, it could simply be that the factory doesn’t want to pour resources into a race that still might not go ahead.

With Yamaha pulling out their official team, that just leaves Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) as the prime contender for the 2020 Suzuka 8 Hours race – if the event takes place that is…