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Jamie Klein

Suzuka 8 Hours gets earlier July date for 2024

For the last two years, the FIM Endurance World Championship event has taken place in the first week of August, but a desire to avoid a clash with the Olympic Games in Paris has led to next year's being race being pushed two weeks forward.

The 45th running of the Suzuka 8 Hours will therefore take place on 19-21 July, its earliest ever date in the 21st century.

Suzuka taking place in July is nothing new however, as the race often was held on the last weekend of July prior to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the 2020 and '21 editions being cancelled.

“While the Suzuka 8 Hours is an event that attracts interest from around the world, it’s fundamentally a great celebration of all that is fantastic about the Japanese motorcycle industry, making it a very important round of the EWC and one of the championship’s many great assets," said EWC series director Jean-Baptiste Ley.

"It’s also an event that attracts a huge and enthusiastic fan following, which helps to create a tremendous and unforgettable atmosphere each year.

"As well as acknowledging the continued participation of Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha in the EWC, the Suzuka 8 Hours is the home race for Webike, a key EWC partner, which means we are more than delighted to be extending our long-term alliance with venue operator and race organiser Honda Mobilityland Corporation.”

Honda scored its 29th Suzuka victory in this year's race with its factory-run Team HRC entry of Takumi Takahashi, Xavi Vierge and Tetsuta Nagashima.

Takahashi became the event's joint-most successful rider in history as a result, tying Tohru Ukawa for five wins.

However, Honda's one-lap victory was achieved in the absence of factory teams from traditional rivals Kawasaki and Yamaha, and it remains to be seen whether either marque will return with full works efforts in 2024.

The full EWC calendar will be announced at a later date, but the Le Mans 24 Hours Motos has already been confirmed as the curtain-raiser and will take place on 18-21 April.

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