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SBK, Hayden: "At the Suzuka 8 Hours I want at least a trophy"

Van der Mark has no doubts after the 2013-2014 wins: "A win to redeem the disappointment of the last edition"

Hayden: "At the Suzuka 8 Hours I want at least a trophy"

The goal is redemption. After the disappointment of the last edition, Honda sets its sights on the rematch in the 39th edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours. For the occasion, the HARC-PRO team has decided to bet on Nicky Hayden. A return for the American rider, thirteen years after his last appearance in the Endurance race held in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The hopes of the Japanese manufacturer are on his shoulders to throw a wrench in the works for Yamaha, current titleholder: “Obviously it is very exciting to participate in a race like this –Hayden said – especially since Honda has achieved great wins in past editions. I am well aware that it will be a big challenge and I can’t wait to get on the bike and feel the enthusiasm of the crowd.

Hayden arrives at the Japanese event following last week’s Manufacturer Tests: “Unfortunately, we did not have more time to work during those two days – he added – plus the weather didn’t help and there was a lot of traffic on the track. I’m sure that it will be a competitive race, where teamwork will be fundamental, finding the right setup from the beginning.”

In any case, Hayden has clear ideas: “I’ve followed this race several times over the years – he concluded – The goal is to take home at least a trophy.”

At the 8 Hours, HARC-PRO will rely on Takumi Takahashi and Michael van der Mark. The Dutchman knows the Japanese Endurance race well, so much that he finished on the top step of the podium in 2013 and 2014. Now the time has come to repeat the performance: “Last year did not go as expected – he began – and precisely for this reason, the goal will be to win. We have Nicky and Takumi on the team – he added – two very experienced riders who are definitely competitive.”

Van der Mark was also at the Manufacturer Tests last week: “They were two useful days – he explained – We probably would have needed a bit more time to prepare for the race, but the team has all the potential to achieve the win.”


Translated by Jonathan Blosser

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