Cancelled in 2020 due to the worldwide pandemic, the Suzuka 8 Hours is one of the world’s most prestigious motorcycle races and figures prominently on the agendas of Japanese motorcycle manufacturers as a “must win”.
Fielding the new 2021 Ninja ZX-10RR, the Kawasaki entry for this year’s Suzuka event will be guided by Provec, the company that manages Kawasaki’s World SBK team, KRT. The three-man squad is entirely populated with previous Suzuka winners in the form of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes plus rising star Lucas Mahias who, having previously won the WSS600 Championship, has moved to the WorldSBK stage riding for Puccetti Kawasaki.
In video statements filmed personally by each of the three riders, they expressed their desire to take part on the race whilst highlighting the successes that Kawasaki has achieved in the gruelling event over a number of years.
Jonathan Rea commented
“I am so excited that I will 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.
KRT Team mate, Alex Lowes said,
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.
Kawasaki Puccetti rider, Lucas Mahias added
“I’m happy that I will 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 Suzuka 8 Hours is a world-famous race. It is so good to return to Suzuka after the 2020 pandemic. For all the Kawasaki fans, I promise that we will make the best preparations and I will do my best to be part of the winning team at Suzuka.”
Concluding the team announcement, Guim Roda of Provec and KRT, highlighted not only the importance of the race but the challenges that are to come.
“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 Johnny, 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 will 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!”.