Dunlop teams bidding for FIM Endurance World Championship title at season finale in Japan
The final round of the 2016/17 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) takes place at the Suzuka circuit in Japan on Sunday 30th July. Two Dunlop teams are bidding for the EWC title with a total of four in contention. After 64 hours of racing, and only one point separating the top-two, the final eight hours of the racing season are critical.
The Suzuka 8 Hours is an iconic race and is unique in that a high proportion of the entries are from ‘local’ teams who prepare bikes solely for the event. The ten full-championship teams are using machines designed and homologated for the tracks throughout the full-season and battles against Suzuka-bespoke challengers makes scoring points a bigger challenge than at other rounds.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) currently leads the standings with 132 points, with a single point ahead of GMT94 Yamaha. The two non-Dunlop challengers have 105 and 92 points respectively. SERT has decided to add a Japanese specialist rider to their squad for the race, with Sodo Hamahara joining regulars Vincent Philippe and Etienne Masson.
For Suzuka there is a special points structure, (here) with 45 points available for the win. So far this season, SERT has won one race, the Bol d’Or, with GMT94 winning three, but the points structure and performances have the teams very closely positioned for the final deciding race.
A total of 29 teams of the 69 taking part have chosen to compete on Dunlop tyres, across machines from Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki. Team Kagayama is a Dunlop-shod Suzuki team which has secured podium finishes at three of the last four Suzuka endurance races. Part of Team Kagayama is regular Dunlop rider Hafizh Syahrin who competes in the FIM Moto2 championship. Fellow Moto2 rider Tetsuta Nagashima is also switching to endurance racing on Dunlops, riding with Teluru Kohara R’s on a Honda.
The Suzuka 8 Hours begins on 30th July at 11.30am local time (4.30am CEST/3.30am BST)
Suzuka provisional entry list including tyre choice.
James BaileyEMEAUnited Kingdomjames@clivereeves.com44 790 4114 414