2022 Suzuka Eight-Hours: Podium the target for YART’s Canepa| WorldSBK staff | World News
YART ended the final Suzuka Eight-Hours test on top of the podium and rider Nico Canepa believes there is no reason why the squad can’t at least stand on the podium this weekend.
The Italian, with team-mates Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika, is currently third in the world title chase but a close result in Japan is expected.
“Suzuka is the biggest event in the EWC season, and now that it’s finally almost here, I’m very excited to race it,” said Canepa.
“This will be the first time in three years, so you could say I’ve been looking forward to it since 2019. At the official test in July we had a great feeling and really enjoyed riding Suzuka.
“This was the first time I’d raced the track with our new electronics system, so the main focus was on setup, but the test went well and I was surprised that we could all set very fast lap times. Coming into the race weekend we’ll work on confirming our race pace and fuel consumption, and fine-tuning the electronics so we can make another step.
“We have some strong competition. Jonathan Rea is a six-time world champion in WSBK, and Alex Lowes has won the 8 Hours many times with Yamaha. Add to that fuel consumption, starts, weather… It’s hard to imagine what will happen at the 8 Hours, but for sure I expect it to be a very difficult race.
“Even so, the R1 and the Bridgestone tires are both working so well. I feel we have all the necessary elements to be able to compete with the world’s top riders for the podium. As a team, we have an advantage because we’ve been racing this bike and tyres combination all season long, so we just have to do our best to achieve our goal of a podium finish. We’ll be counting on all the Yamaha fans cheering for us.”