SUZUKA CIRCUIT

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Suzuka 8hours will have Suzuka 8hours Kawasaki works team, "Kawasaki Racing Team"!!

The riders are Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, and Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Suzuka 8hours will have Suzuka 8hours Kawasaki works team,
Suzuka 8hours will have Suzuka 8hours Kawasaki works team, "Kawasaki Racing Team"!!

Suzuka 8hours will have Suzuka 8hours Kawasaki works team, "Kawasaki Racing Team"!!

The riders are Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, and Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Kawasaki has decided to join the battle with their works team for Suzuka 8hours, for the first time since 2001. The team name is Kawasaki Racing Team, consisting of the three riders: Jonathan Rea with four consecutive Superbike World Championships; the 2018 British Superbike Champion Leon Haslam, who will fight for the Superbike World Championship as Rea's teammate from this year; and Toprak Razgatlioglu.

In 2014, the Kawasaki Team GREEN, belonging to Kawasaki Motors Corporation Japan of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. , came back to Suzuka 8hours for the first time in 22 years since 1992. In 2016, the team won the second place being the only team that goaled on the same lap as the winning team. In 2017, it ended up with Kazuma Watanabe and Haslam competed for eight hours, and like in 2016, the team won the second place being the only team that goaled on the same lap as the winning team.

In order to win the "Championship", in 2018 the team waved to recruit Rea during his third consecutive Superbike World Championship. Rea himself had won in 2012 Suzuka 8hours and was an unprecedent powerful helper. Rea scored 2 minutes 05 seconds 403 in the qualifying race and gained pole position. His ultimate braking that could been seen everywhere was artistic. However, Suzuka 8hours of that year was hit by the rapidly changing weather and both the riders and the team are tossed. And Rea fell down in the rain. Nevertheless, the team's hard work for recovery put him back on the 3rd place on the podium, though it is no doubt that Rea was not happy about the race as the world champion. No wonder if Rea has been swearing to revenge for the disgrace.

In 2018, Rea achieved his fourth consecutive Superbike World Championship title. And in the 2019 battle, Haslam joined as a teammate. In this year's Suzuka 8hours, added to the team cored by these two riders is Razgatlioglu. Razgatlioglu is a rider who has participated in the Superbike World Championship since last year, and ranked second in the Superstock 1000 in 2017.  He entered last year's MFJ-GP as the final round of the All Japan Road Race, but he had to cancel because he had fallen and injured before the qualifying race. Although his ability at the Suzuka Circuit is unknown, it is certain that Kawasaki highly appreciates his potential as a rider, and he will attract attention in the Suzuka 8hours preliminary test.

In the 1970s, Kawasaki took pride in their overwhelming strength in the endurance race in Europe, and the Kawasaki Z-1 based endurance racer machine was called Green Monster, which would once dominate the podium in the Bol d'Or 24-hour motorcycle endurance race. Although it stood at times on the podium at Suzuka 8hours, which had started in 1978, its one and only one championship was seized in 1993, the final year TT-F1 was allowed in the machine regulation, ridden by Scott Russell and Aaron Slight. However, in each tournament, Kawasaki has unfolded a race to hit the hearts of fans and has made a huge appeal that strongly emphasizes its presence.

Kawasaki Racing Team is going to come back to Suzuka 8hours after 18 years. The matrix of strongest riders, the new high-performance machine, the team structure that supports them - all the preparations are ready for a victory in Suzuka 8hours. Loaded with the passionate feelings of Kawasaki fans, the modern green monster Ninja ZX-10RR will speed through Suzuka 8hours.
Team Name: Kawasaki Racing Team
Director: Guim Roda
Machine: Ninja ZX-10RR
Riders
Jonathan Rea

Date of Birth: February 2, 1987
Place of Birth: England
Affiliation: KAWASAKI RACING TEAM WORLDSBK
Main achievements:
4 consecutive championships at Superbike World Championships since 2015.

Leon Haslam
Date of Birth: May 31, 1983
Place of Birth: England
Affiliation: KAWASAKI RACING TEAM WORLDSBK
Main achievements:
2018 British Superbike Championship Champion
2017 British Superbike Championship 3rd place
2016 British Superbike Championship 2nd place
2015 Superbike World Championship 4th place

Toprak Razgatlioglu
Date of Birth: October 16, 1996
Place of Birth: Turkey
Affiliation: TURKISH PUCCETTI RACING
Main achievements:
2018 Superbike World Championship 9th place
2017 Superstock 1000 2nd place
2016 Superstock 1000 5th place
2015 Superstock 600 Champion

Comments from Riders

Jonathan Rea:
Jonathan Rea:
Representing Kawasaki, I am very happy to be back in Suzuka 8hours. Suzuka 8hours is a very big event in my mind. Taking advantage of last years’ experience that we almost won as Team GREEN, I will be back with a goal to go higher than last year. We got a good time last year, but there were also some mistakes. We will learn from these mistakes, and challenge with unprecedent preparations. Suzuka 8hours is the toughest and most exciting race in the world. Racing at a temperature of 36 degrees is a real test for riders and machines. I like the challenge and cannot wait to spend time with Japanese fans.
Leon Haslam:
Leon Haslam:
This year is the fourth year season with Kawasaki. I am happy to be back in the great event Suzuka 8hours as a Kawasaki rider again. In the past, we have achieved good results. Among all these races, the race I ran over five and a half hours out of eight hours is very memorable. Last year's race with Jonathan, we led the race until a minor problem occurred. And for the last few years, our package has improved significantly, with every year standing on the podium. If we can challenge with a strong fighting spirit and repeat good testing with our machine, this year we will take the middle of the podium. I have to make sure of this year's strategy. But I get along well with Jonathan, and the setup request I sent to the team is almost the same as his. I am really looking forward to the race from now.
Toprak Razgatlioglu:
Toprak Razgatlioglu:
This is my dream team! I am always ready, so I wonder what will happen later? Although I have been a fan of Suzuka 8hours, this is the first time I actually run in it. I am very lucky to be on the same team as Jonny and Leon. It is amazingly unbelievable. When I participated in the All Japan Road Race only once last year, the Japanese team told me that this machine was almost the same as the machine for Suzuka 8hours and the only difference is the gasoline tank. The big difference with WSBK is that the tires are Bridgestone. It is like a dream to be able to compete in Suzuka 8hours on the great circuit.

Mr. Yuji Horiuchi, President, Motorcycle & Engine Company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.:

Since coming back in 2014 for the first time after 13 years with the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group's team (Kawasaki Team Green), our group has been united to challenge for the championship in this race, and our places were 2nd in 2016 and 2017, and 3rd in 2018. In particular, Suzuka 8hours last year was fought by Jonathan Rea, who had won four consecutive years of championship in Superbike World Championship (hereinafter WSBK). There was some trouble, and the result was 3rd. But I think it had been a run with the potential for victory.
This time, in order to win the championship for the first time since 1993, we decided to participate as the Kawasaki Heavy Industries factory team "Kawasaki Racing Team" (KRT). I think that it will bring out their potential more than ever because it will be a team system more familiar to the participating riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam. In addition, Toprak Razgatlioglu, who is playing an active part in WSBK, will also participate in the battle this time. Thank you for your support.

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