Yamaha has revealed a stunning retro livery for its 2018 Suzuka 8-hour race bikes, commemorating 20 years of the iconic YZF-R1 model.
The company changed the face of the sportsbike world with the arrival of the original R1 in 1998. With a full 1000cc capacity, 150bhp and chassis dimensions more akin to a 600, early bikes are now bona fide classics – especially in the most popular red and white livery. The R1 was quickly followed by the Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Kawasaki ZX-10R, creating the 1000cc superbike category that remains today.
As homage to this iconic bike, Yamaha’s factory entry at next month’s Suzuka 8-hour race will run a colour scheme that closely echo those original models, complete with a period YZF logo.
The bike will once again be ridden by world superbike stars Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark, along with local factory star Katsuyuki Nakasuga. The trio will be looking to retain the title they won last time around, as well as to give the works Yamaha team its fourth successive win at the prestigious event.
British rider Lowes, who took his first world superbike race win last time out in Brno, said: “It‘s a great honour to be asked back by Yamaha to represent them again at Suzuka. It‘s such an important race and one I really enjoy. Also, I‘m looking forward to working with Michael and Nakasuga-san again after our success last year. I have a chance to win there with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team for the third year in a row and on the 20th anniversary of the R1, I can‘t wait!
The 41stSuzuka 8-hour takes place at the legendary Japanese circuit between 26-29 July.
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