What promises to be an exciting challenge for Kawasaki at the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race in Japan will feature Jonathan Rea, Alex Lowes and WorldSBK rookie Lucas Mahias
2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship stars Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), teammate Alex Lowes and Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Team) will be in charge of bringing more success to the Japanese manufacturer at the Suzuka 8 Hour event in Japan, as they form the line-up of the official Kawasaki factory effort. The prestigious event, which was won by Kawasaki in dramatic fashion in 2019, will see them go in pursuit of defending their crown once more, with Jonathan Rea aiming for back-to-back Suzuka 8 Hour victories.
The all-new ZX-10RR will be on show for all to see and the team will be guided by the Provec Racing outfit, the same organisation that runs the WorldSBK effort, with the name of the team ultimately being the Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8H). Kawasaki have won the race twice since the race began in 1978 and both times have featured WorldSBK royalty: in 1993, they won it with 1993 WorldSBK Champion Scott Russell and double WorldSBK runner-up Aaron Slight, whilst in 2019, they won it with Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Speaking about defending the crown, Jonathan Rea said: “I’m so excited that I’ll be part of KRT and Kawasaki factory taking part in the 2021 Suzuka 8 Hour race. I’ve been on the podium four times now at Suzuka, and my fondest memory was winning the race for Kawasaki in 2019. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do the race in 2020 due to the global pandemic going on, but we’ll be back in 2021 and I promise I will be making my best efforts to do the best for Kawasaki and all our fans.”
Alex Lowes added: “I’m delighted that I’ll be part of the KRT Kawasaki factory racing team for the 2021 Suzuka 8 Hours. Already I’ve been on the winning team three times at Suzuka. It’s a fantastic event and a really great circuit – one of my favourites. Now I’ll have the chance to push for a Kawasaki win on the latest Ninja ZX-10RR. I’m really looking forward to being part of this famous race again; we have a great team, and the Ninja is an amazing machine.”
Lucas Mahias has Suzuka 8 Hour experience and is looking forward to returning to the event: “I’m happy that I’ll be part of the KRT Kawasaki factory team taking part in the 2021 Suzuka 8 Hour race. Racing in Japan is always very special, and the Suzuka 8 Hours is a world-famous race. It’s so good to return to Suzuka after the 2020 pandemic. For all the Kawasaki fans, I promise that we’ll make the best preparations, and I will do my best to be part of the winning team at Suzuka.”
KRT team manager Guim Roda is likewise eager to get to the event, saying: “The Suzuka 8 Hours is a global event, and it profiles not just the endurance of riders across these many hours but also the durability of the motorcycle. I’m sure Jonny, Alex and Lucas are the perfect weapons for this exciting challenge. Our job at Provec on behalf of KRT and the Kawasaki factory is to manage not just rider performance but also to work alongside the factory race staff to produce a Ninja ZX-10RR that is both fast and durable plus easy to maintain during pit stops and scheduled rider changes.
“I know this year's 8 Hour race is a big effort and commitment from many people to try come back to normality after a hard 2020 Covid year and not such an easy recovery back to "normal" in 2021. So, we’ll fully support this event to make sure the show goes on and we'll work together with KHI to make the best result, for all fans and for all the world!”.
Watch all three riders in action throughout the 2021 WorldSBK season with the WorldSBK VideoPass!